Strapping your kid in a car seat wrong can cause positional asphyxia

Published: Aug. 21, 2018 at 4:33 PM CDT
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It's a parent's worst nightmare, and now, a Texas mom wants to warn others before it happens to them.

An 18-month-old baby was found dead after napping in a car seat.

Police say the child died because of the way she was positioned.

Positional asphyxia is a common cause of deaths in infants.

Babies can slide down when not buckled in correctly and get in a position where their airway is blocked.

"Anytime a baby is in a car seat, inside the house or outside the house they need to have the straps fully tightened enough that you can't pinch anything at the shoulder and the webbing of the straps," says Community Life Educator Jody Jordet.

Jordet says when babies are in a car seat their head and neck need to be at a 45 degree angle, otherwise there's a risk of having a blocked airway.

"Any other angle or any other, or loose straps, baby can slip and their airway can suffer," says Jordet.

Mom-to-be Melissa Smith says she didn't know positional asphyxia was something for her to worry about, but she says she's not surprised about it.

"I thought it was really interesting just you know, you think of loosening up the straps for baby to make them more comfortable, but the fact that they can kind of slip down and that's where this asphyxiation can be an issue," says Melissa Smith.