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22 May 2019, 11:32
Research has revealed just how careful parents need to be when their baby is in a car seat.
New research has revealed how many infant deaths occurred when a baby slept in their car seat when not in the car.
The research, carried out by the University of Virginia Children's Hospital, found that out of 12,000 infant sleep-related deaths, 219 of these suffocated in car seats.
Of these 219 deaths, 99 per cent of them occurred when the baby in the car seat was not in the car being transported.
Now, experts are warning parents to not allow their children to sleep in car seats when not in the car.
Research has found that the most common cause of death in babies in car sears is positional asphyxia.
When car seats are fitted properly into the car, they sit at an angle which allows the baby’s airways to be open.
However, when the same car seat is placed on a flat surface, your home, for example, the baby’s head can potentially drop forward.
This in turn cuts off their airways.
Lead researcher Dr Rachel Moon said: “Car seats are important when you're traveling with an infant.
“It's best not to have the infant sleep in the car seat when you're at home. The safest place for a baby to sleep is on a firm, flat surface.”
Support and information manager at The Lullaby Trust, Kate Holmes, added: “Babies should not sleep in car seats when they are not travelling and should be moved to a safe sleeping space when they arrive at their destination.
“We always advise that babies sleep on a firm, flat, waterproof mattress that is free of any toys or loose and bulky bedding.”
She went on to add: “At the Lullaby Trust we advise parents that they should not travel with their baby in a car seat for long periods of time.
“On longer journeys we recommend parents take regular breaks where the baby is removed from their car seat.
“If possible, an adult should sit in the back of the car with the baby, or use a mirror to keep an eye on them.”
Kate Holmes finished by saying: “If a baby changes its position and slumps forward, then parents should immediately stop and take the baby out of the car seat.”