Three Reasons Why You Should Never Leave Your Baby in a Car Seat
Car seats may mean the difference in life or death if your child is riding in one during a wreck. Safe Kids Worldwide states that car seats used correctly reduce the potential of death by as much as 71 percent.
But the tragic death of 9-month-old John Norris is a reminder that car seats are meant for a car and not as a place for the child to sleep or rest outside of the car.
The medical examiner found the little boy died after being strangled by the seat’s safety belt after he was left in a closet to take a nap at a babysitter’s home. Police said he was not checked on for two hours.
Officer Brad Perez with the Fort Worth Police Department told Fox 4 News, ““The infant’s neck was caught in between the car carrier chest buckle that wasn’t fastened. And the child appears to have suffocated by the means of the buckle and the strap mechanism.”
“What’s important for parents and caregivers to know is that car seats play a vital role in protecting children if used correctly and while riding in the vehicle,” said Dana Walraven, Community Health Outreach manager at Cook Children’s. “A car seat is a tool for safe travel in a car. It is important that it is used correctly and only for that purpose.”
Here are three reasons why you should not leave your baby in a car seat:
- All straps and buckles must be used correctly at all times. If not, babies can slip or move and create a dangerous position that could block their airway. It is also easy to place a child in car seat unstrapped for a minute but forget when you pick the child up that they are not buckled.
- Babies should not be left in a car seat for an extended period of time and should not be left alone in a car seat-awake or asleep. When traveling with a baby, factor in time for extra stops. Bring another adult, when possible, to keep an eye on the baby.
- Car seats are not safe sleep environments. Babies should sleep on their back, in a crib without blankets or pillows. When a car seat is taken out of the car and placed on the ground, the angle can cause the child head to tip forward which can result in constriction of their airway.