This is a little scary, because who hasn’t left their child sleeping in their car seat? Isn’t the standard remedy to parental sleep deprivation supposed to be driving around the block with the child in their car seat? And isn’t the whole point of those infant seats which detach from their bases to facilitate transporting sleeping babies from the car without disturbing them?
Babies should not be left to sleep unattended in semi-reclining car safety seats, because of the risk that the seats might cause life-threatening breathing problems in some infants.
New Zealand experts warn that while infant safety seats are vital to protect babies’ lives in car journeys, scattered examples of some babies turning blue or stopping breathing suggest babies should not be left to sleep in them after the journey is over.
A paper in the British Medical Journal finds that among 43 infants referred to the Auckland Cot Monitoring Service after apparently life-threatening breathing problems, nine had been restrained in a car safety seat. All but one of the seats were semi-inclined and rear-facing.
A 10-week old boy was found blue in the seat in the kitchen. A five-week-old girl was found “scrunched up” and very blue in the seat, which was on the floor at her home.
Lead author Alistair Gunn, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Auckland, writes that by reconstructing the scene, the researchers worked out that the seat’s design meant that when babies were in them, their heads were bent forward, narrowing their airways.–The Australian