There was a tragedy last night in Utah as a one year Old baby girl died while sleeping in her car seat. The baby’s death ironically comes on the same day that a new international study was released which says leaving infants in a car seat can be dangerous.
We have all done it, you arrive home and your baby is asleep in their car seat so rather then risk waking the baby, you leave the baby to sleep in the car seat in the house, tragically that is exactly what this baby in Utah died from last night.
Fifteen-month old Devon Justine Greer was being babysat by a neighbor and was left sleeping in her car seat.
Sgt. Spencer Cannon, Utah County Sheriff’s Office: “She had apparently fallen asleep in the car seat in the car, but was taken into the home.”
The baby girl was sleeping in a bedroom, but when the babysitter went to check on her she was not breathing.
Sgt. Spencer Cannon, Utah County Sheriff’s Office: “When family here at the home went into that room a short time later, they found her unresponsive and not breathing, and that’s when they called 911.”
Paramedics attempted CPR for more than an hour, but it was not successful.
Sgt. Spencer Cannon, Utah County Sheriff’s Office: “We have detectives who are continuing to investigate to rule out any foul play, but at this point it appears to be an accident.”
This baby’s death could be related to what New Zealand researchers today warned is a danger for infants. The study reviewed nine infants who suffered “life threatening breathing problems” while strapped into a car seat where they were left asleep outside the car.
The babies had their heads bent forward while they slept and that restricted their airways.
Janet Brooks with Primary Children’s Hospital says the warning about letting babies sleep for long periods of time in car seats is not new, but an important reminder.
Janet Brooks, Child Advocacy Manager, Primary Children’s Hospital: “Leaving kids in a car seat too long. If you take them out of the car, take them into the house. They sleep in it, they nap in it. These are all issues, not only for airways but for curvature of the spine, flatness on the back of the head; these are all issues we look at.”
While it’s not safe to let babies sleep for a long time in the car seat out of the car, we want to make it clear: while in a car, it’s a different story. There is no question that infant car seats save lives and researchers say may reduce car accident injuries by as much as 90%.