Study suggests car seats can kill sleeping kids

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 24, 2015) — Sleep related deaths are the most common cause of deaths for infants between one month and 12 months old. Now, we’re finding out using car seats, swings or bouncers for your child’s sleep can be dangerous, even deadly.

New research, set to be published in The Journal of Pediatrics, suggests the straps could strangle your baby while he or she is sleeping. Straps on a swing are what led to the death of an eight month old Indianapolis boy. His mother, Staci Tober, still has vivid memories of her son Trevor who died in 2002.

“I wasn’t done being a mother to a little boy yet. When he died, I was holding him when he took his last breath,” Tober said.

Tober says Trevor died in a baby swing at daycare.

“He had been left alone for about six minutes while she was tending to other children and he wiggled out of his seat and strangled on the strap,” Tober added.

Even though the swing Trevor was in should have been out of use because it was recalled, a recent study finds a lot of sleeping kids died the same way as Trevor.

“The day we got his death certificate it just floored me to see that he died of asphyxiation due to strangulation,” Tober said.

Researchers analyzed almost 50 death records for infants and all but one were attributed to asphyxia. More than half were from car seats, but strollers, slings and swings were also included.

“That many died the same way Trevor did,” Tober said.

Researchers say not to leave children unattended whether they’re awake or sleeping. Also, make sure your child can’t slump forward in a seat, use the restraints according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep on their back on a firm mattress without loose bedding.

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