Napping while in car seat a real danger for infants, experts say

Napping while in a car seat could be deadly for children, according to experts.

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Removing the car seat with a napping child still inside poses the most danger, not necessarily when a child is sleeping in the vehicle.

Over a four-year period, a study published by the Journal of Pediatrics found 31 children died while sleeping in car seats.

Dayton Children's Hospital Trauma Program Manager Lisa Schwing said positional asphyxia is a real threat to infants.

A child could become “suffocated by the position that their neck or their head is in,” Schwing said.

Car seats installed correctly are at safe angles, and children must be buckled in the right way, Schwing says.

“You don’t want them to be able to lay their neck or their head on any part of those straps,” Schwing said. “The clip needs to be down here at the armpit level so it doesn’t have the opportunity to obstruct their airway.”

Germantown, Ohio resident and mother of twins Melanie Jayne says she does not let her children sleep in their car seats outside of the car.

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“It’s tempting when they are asleep and you don’t want to wake them, but it’s not safe so we don’t do it.”

Schwing advises parents to follow the "ABCs" of sleeping when it comes to infants, "Alone on your back in a crib," or a pack and play if you don't have a crib.

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