Car Seat Safety: Watch Infants
Experts Note Life-Threatening Breathing Problems in 9 Infants Sleeping in Car Seats
Monitors showed a drop in the babies' blood oxygen levels for
"substantial" periods of time during the experiment, report Kinane and
The scientists said "respiratory instability is a potential concern
because of the upright position in the car seat" -- especially for
Problems could include a drop in the babies' oxygen levels, but it
"generally has been accepted" that the crash protection offsets that
risk, Kinane's team says.
"Unfortunately," they write, "the portability of car seats and
busy contemporary lifestyles are resulting in infants spending extended periods
of time in the car seat for reasons other than transport."
Overall, our study suggests that additional refinements of the car seat and
bed are necessary to minimize or prevent respiratory compromise," the
They called on manufacturers to address those issues.
"In the interim," Kinane's team writes, "we suggest caution when
considering the use of these devices outside the setting of transportation in
the car, for which they were designed."
The study was funded by Aprica, a Japan-based firm that makes car seats and
other baby products.
Infant Car Seat Safety
Pediatric experts stress that car safety seats are essential for babies who
ride in automobiles.
Still, babies in car seats need attention, according to the American Academy
of Pediatrics (AAP).
"Don't leave your baby unattended in a car safety seat," states the
AAP's web site.
"When your baby falls asleep in her car safety seat, it can be tempting
to bring her inside and leave her alone in the seat, but this can be
unsafe," the AAP says.
"Your baby can fall out of the seat, or the seat can fall over.
"And remember, placing the car safety seat on a shopping cart is unsafe
too," the AAP continues.
"The best place for your baby to sleep is on her back in a safe
crib," states the AAP.
It is also important to follow the manufacturer's instructions to use car