A grieving mother whose baby passed away while asleep in a car seat outside of the vehicle is now trying to warn other parents.
It was in 2015 when Lisa Smith lost her baby girl but she still remembers that devastating day when she received a call at work about Mia, her 17-month-old baby.
Mia was in the home of a daycare provider and was sleeping in a car seat on the floor.
“This was our beautiful little girl. Perfectly healthy. But when they came in and told us that she didn’t have any more brain activity, all I did was I turn to the doctor and said, ‘I know,’” Smith said to Today.
According to a medical investigation, she had died from positional asphyxia wherein the baby’s airway was blocked.
Dr. Natalie Azar for NBC News said that positional asphyxia happens when a person “can’t get enough air to breathe due to the positioning of his/her body. This happens most often in infants, when an infant dies and is found in a position where his/her mouth and nose is blocked, or where his/her chest may be unable to fully expand.
“Positional asphyxia is when the baby’s sleeping position prevents him or her from breathing adequately. When a car seat is in the car, it’s reclined at 45 degrees. This allows the baby’s head and neck to rest backwards so that it’s not slumped forward and blocking the airway.”
A study published in The Journal of Pediatrics revealed that at least 48 percent of car seat deaths from 2004 to 2008 were caused by positional asphyxia.
The study stated: “Sitting and carrying devices, which include car seats, bouncers (reclined infant seats that allow the occupant who cannot yet sit up unassisted to bounce), swings, strollers, and slings, are purchased by most parents for the primary purpose of transporting infants or confining them.
“However, many parents find that this may be a convenient and presumably safe place for the infant to be, whether awake or asleep.
“There is potential for injury when sitting devices are not used for their intended purpose or as originally designed. Closed head injuries, skull fractures, broken bones, and suffocation have been reported in various sitting and carrying devices.”
The study added: “Most new parents will hear that they should never wake a sleeping baby, but in the situation of your baby falling asleep in the car seat, in the car, transferring them to a safer place, such as a firm mattress or crib is really the recommended thing to do.”
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