A car seat is the safest place for an infant while traveling in a car. But putting your baby to sleep in a portable car seat at home can be deadly, a new study warns.
The danger comes from letting your baby sleep seated upright or on an incline. “When your baby is seated, her heavy head can fall forward which can cause difficulty in breathing and even suffocations,” explains Dr. Harvey Karp. “That’s why car seats-outside of moving cars are not safe for naps or overnight sleep for the first 6 months of life.”
“While car seats are important when you’re traveling with an infant, it’s best not to have the infant sleep in the car seat when you are at home,” study author Dr. Rachel Moon said in a statement.
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What’s important for parents and caregivers to know is that car seats play a vital role in protecting children if used correctly and while riding in the vehicle. A car seat is a tool for safe travel in a car. It is important that it is used correctly and only for that purpose.
When sitting devices are used in place of crib or bassinet, infants can die by falling, flipping over and suffering positional asphyxia, or from improper buckling of the straps.
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The best place for your baby to sleep is on her back, in a crib that has a firm mattress and us free from any loose bedding.