When her little girl was just 18 months old a mother, Lisa Smith, got the phone call of every parent’s worst nightmare.
A panicked babysitter told the mom that her toddler, Mia, wasn’t waking up.
After rushing to the hospital, Smith was told her daughter had died from positional asphyxia after taking a nap in her car seat.\
She had slumped into a position that restricted her airway and stopped her from breathing. The little girl had been sleeping in her car seat, which had taken out of the car and put inside the house.
“It was the worst call I’ve ever had in my life,” Smith, of Aledo, Texas, told US TV station WFAA.
Since the death of Mia, the mom is working with media organizations to share her story and warn other parents.
To add to the tragedy, Smith was actually well aware of positional asphyxiation and never let Mia sleep in her car seat.
But she wasn’t aware that the babysitter, who ran a licensed daycare centre in Iowa, allowed the little girl to sleep in the seat.
Learn more about their story in the video below.
Sadly this is not an isolated incident. Unfortunately not enough people know about this danger and it actually happens much more often than it should.
11-week-old Shepard Dodd also died tragically after being put in his infant car seat. Now, Shepard’s parents are determined to make sure this tragedy doesn’t happen to any other baby.
The little boy was in the home of his licensed daycare provider. At nap time, he was swaddled and placed in his car seat. Since Shepard had a runny nose and little congestion, the daycare provider thought he would sleep better in the upright position the car seat provided.
Since he wasn’t in a moving vehicle, the straps were left unbuckled and off of him. The baby fell asleep, and his head fell down in a chin-to-chest position, which closed his airways. Because he was so young, he didn’t have strenght in his neck muscles to move his head, and he died of asphyxiation.
His parents are taking his story to the media to prevent other babies from this horrible death.
What happened to Shepard and Mia is called positional asphyxiation. Babies don’t have the neck muscles to keep their heads upright, so if they are not properly buckled into a rocker or a car seat, their chin can freely fall on their chests and cut off air supply. Car seats are designed to protect children as they are traveling in a car, but they can actually prove a danger if infants aren’t properly strapped in and supervised.
Ali and Derek Dodd are now lobbying the Oklahoma state legislature to introduce new safe sleep standards for babies, as well as warning parents about the dangers of positional asphyxiation. But we should all take note of this from now on.
Lisa Smith and Ali and Derek Dodd are raising awareness in hopes this never happens to another child. Please share this so every parent is made aware of this danger and to help spread their message. Also remember to tell any caregiver or babysitter that is watching your child not to let your child nap in a car seat. It could save their life.