Dr. Samuel on KXAN: Don’t Let Babies Nap at Home in Car Seats

Bouncers, Swings, Strollers Also Pose Safety Threats

A new American Academy of Pediatrics study found that while a car seat is ideal when traveling with an infant, it can be life-threatening when used inside the home for a baby’s naptime.

The 10-year review of 11,779 infant sleep-related deaths showed 348 (or 3 percent) babies died at home in sitting devices, primarily in car seats. The number surprised Dr. Shirlene Samuelpediatrician at ARC South 1st Specialty, who addressed the threat on KXAN-TV.

“If it’s during travel time, that is OK,” said Samuel. “However, once you get home, they need to be taken out of the car seat and put in their cribs alone and on their back.

The median age of deaths probed in the study was two months. About 3,700 infants die annually in the U.S. from sleep-related deaths, which include sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS; accidental suffocation and strangulation; and other causes.

Other Sitting Devices Pose Danger, Too

The AAP analysis found 63 percent of infant dying in sitting devices passed away while in car seats. Thirty-five percent happened in bouncers and swings and two percent happened in strollers.

Samuel told KXAN that parents need to become better educated about how sitting devices pose a danger because babies can lean forward or at an incline “because they don’t have great head control,” compromising their airways and “increasing the risk of SIDS.”

The AAP recommends that sitting devices not be used for infants’ routine sleep. Babies should be placed for sleep on their backs until reaching one year of age. Loose bedding and soft objects should be removed from the bedding area.

AAP recommendations can be summarized as these basic ABCs:

  • Your baby should always sleep alone
  • Your baby should always sleep on her or his back
  • Your baby should always sleep in a crib

Check out the complete interview here. You can get more recommendations on infant sleep safety here. Get more information on the AAP study here.

Tags: ARC South 1st Specialty, American Academy of Pediatrics, car seats, Dr. Shirlene Samuel, infant sleep safety