Findings from a study published online by Archives of Disease in Childhood claim that there is a small risk of sudden death for babies who use car seats. The study is based on an analysis of cases of sudden death in infants up to 12 months in Quebec, Canada, that happened between 1991 and 2000.
Of the 508 deaths that were investigated, 17 of these deaths happened when an infant was seated in a car seat. The risk was larger for babies less than a month old. The authors of the study state that the risk is very low and that car seat safety should not be questioned.
But doctors from the University of Auckland in New Zealand recommend that parents do not let very young babies sleep unattended in their car seats.
In a study by these doctors, 43 babies turned blue from lack of oxygen while in car seats. Most of these cases occurred in babies at an average age of five weeks. The infants head was flexed forward with the jaw pressed into the chest, which caused the babies to have difficulty breathing. This may have been due to the fact that babies this young lack head control.
The researchers urge parents to take extra care when putting young infants in any type of car seat.
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