Car Seats are For Cars Only, Pediatricians Warn In New Statement

Leaving a baby in a auto seat when they're not in a vehicle can pose risks, according to a new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

According to the AAP, "while auto seats are a safe and effective way of transporting an infant and should always be used when transporting an infant in a vehicle, they should not be used as an alternative to a crib or bassinet". So when no longer traveling, the best to transfer your sleeping baby to a crib or a bassinet.

Over a decade, almost 12,000 babies in the United States died while sleeping - about 3% of them while in an "infant sitting device", such as a auto seat, stroller, swing or infant seat, according to the study of U.S. National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention data.

A study published in the latest issue of Pediatrics, however, warns about the potential dangers of this seemingly innocent practice. More than a third (35%) involved a bouncer, swing or similar device, and 2% occurred in a stroller.

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The study reportedly states that parents may inappropriately rely on the sitting devices as an alternative to a crib or a bassinet. AAP specifically "discourages routine sleeping in sitting devices". He warns that not only can a vehicle seat flip over or fall from whatever surface it was set on if the parent isn't watching but that the straps can also cause strangulation or suffocation.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines say babies should sleep alone, on their backs, on a firm surface and without soft bedding. But if you're letting your infant sleep in their seat even after you get out of the vehicle, you could be putting them at risk, according to a study published on Monday in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) journal.

More than half of the deaths in sitting devices occurred in the child's home and were more likely to occur while the baby was being cared for by a child care provider or babysitter rather than a parent.

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