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Why You Should Never Let Your Infant Nap in a Car Seat

Let your kid take their afternoon nap in a swing, stroller or car seat? You may want to reconsider.


It seems so convenient letting your babies just take a nice nap in a comfortable car seat, or a stroller, swing or another sitting device. But a new study says that leaving them there to sleep unattended could have deadly consequences.

This study, published in the Journal of American Pediatrics, looked at 47 cases of children under the age of 2 who died in a device designed for them to sit or be carried in. The majority of the cases (almost 2/3rds) involved car seats, but slings, swings, bouncers and strollers made up the other third.

The author of the study, Dr. Erich K. Batra, of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, says that parents should follow the "ABC" guidelines when their child is asleep and not being monitored. They should be alone, on their backs and in a crib (that doesn't have loose bedding).

The issue with car seats and sitting devices is that children can be strangled by something (often a strap) or couldn't get enough air due to the way their bodies were positioned. While the study doesn't give details on how common these cases are, they did find in these cases that the unattended children in these devices could have happened in as few as four minutes.

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