Baby stops breathing because of car seat straps, mum has this warning

Baby stops breathing because of car seat straps, mum has this warning

Car seats can save kids' lives, but in some instances, they can also put them at risk. 

Parents rely on car seats to keep their little ones safe, but they can also be dangerous. One of the most overlooked baby car seat dangers is how it can lower a baby’s oxygen levels.

Baby Car Seat Dangers: Mum’s Warning After Baby Nearly Turns Black and Stops Breathing for 20 Minutes

It was 20 minutes of utter horror for Scottish mum Rachel Patey, 24, when she saw her six-month-old baby boy stop breathing. The cause? Airway constriction due to the straps of his car seat.

Apparently the car seat straps compressed his chin towards his chest, making it impossible for him to breathe properly.

The terrified mum saw her baby go “more black than blue,” but both she and her partner Jamie quickly performed CPR. After several attempts, Jamie was able to revive his little boy. 

baby car seat dangers

Rachel Patey thanks partner Jamie Kerr who managed to save their son’s life by getting him out of the seat and performing CPR to revive him. | Images: Rachel Patey Facebook page

The mum recounted to a local news outlet how her baby boy already had a history of breathing issues, having been hospitalised for months due to tracheoesophageal fistula (TOF). He was also born nine weeks premature. 

Though he has spent most of his young life in the hospital, the mum proudly shares how a “total warrior” her baby boy has been. This latest incident, though harrowing, is further proof of that. 

Baby Car Seat Dangers Can Happen Quickly, Even in Less Than 30 Minutes

baby car seat dangers

Aside from being born premature, baby Noah remained in the hospital for several months due to a condition called TEF. | Images: Rachel Patey Facebook page

This isn’t the first case of a baby nearly suffocating in his car seat. Just recently, a baby girl nearly died after being left in a car seat during a long drive. What’s more, a study found that being strapped in a car seat can cause abnormal breathing and heart rates.

“Car seats and car beds can result in mild respiratory compromise in about 20 percent of newborns,” lead researcher T. Bernard Kinane, M.D. explains to CNN

Though experts believe babies should not be left in a car seat for more than 30 minutes, the way they are placed can also pose dangers.

Baby Noah had only been in the car seat for about five to ten minutes before he had trouble breathing. 

“I had him sitting too upright in the seat, so the strap touched his chin which pulled it towards his chest and limited his breathing,” explains his mum, who warns other parents not to take baby car seat position for granted. 

Here’s How To Prevent Baby Car Seat Dangers

baby car seat dangers

When it comes to protecting your little one from baby car seat dangers, knowing their cues and right positioning is key! | Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Car seats are designed to keep babies safe in the event of an accident. There’s no denying their importance, but it’s also just as vital for us to know how to use them properly.

As the above cases show, simple baby positioning can mean the difference between life or death. Before you place your little one in a car seat, remember these safety tips.

1. Watch Your Baby Closely

Yes, you’ve never had any frightening experiences, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be super vigilant. While driving, take time to check on them, especially when stuck in traffic. 

Better yet, make sure someone is sitting in the back seat with them, as rear-facing car seats are still recommended for babies under the age of two. Why? SafetyBeltSafe USA says this is five times safer in the event of an accident. Once they are over two, or have exceeded the height and weight limitations of the seat, they can transition to front-facing seats. 

2. Know Your Baby’s Behaviour

Your little one’s cues can be very telling if something’s wrong. If they’re fussier than normal or even if they’re unusually quiet, trust your instincts! You know your baby best.

Just like baby Noah’s parents above, act quickly! Take them out of the car seat immediately, administer CPR for babies or children. Call emergency medical help immediately.

3. Invest in Other Protective Accessories

To ease your mind, purchase breathing or movement monitors or download baby monitoring apps to make sure your baby stays safe in their car seat. 

Take them out of the car seat periodically during long drives, but don’t do so while the car is moving. In the event of a terrible accident, your baby could be flung from your arms in a splitsecond. In fact, it’s ideal to avoid taking babies on long drives, especially if they were born prematurely.

Mums and dads, an important part of child safety is taking the time and effort spent trying to find the best car seat, but with this should also come the knowledge of how to best use it.

We can invest in the most expensive car seats, but at the end of the day, the safety of our children is in our hands.


Sources: The Scottish Sun, CNN

ALSO READ: Watch out for this unexpected car seat danger

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Written by

Bianchi Mendoza

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