AAP: Don’t let babies sleep in sitting devices

July 16, 2019

Alone, on its back, in a crib. That’s the only safe place for an infant to sleep. New data say why car safety seats are not included.

New analysis of data from the 2004-2014 National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reveals that infants who sleep in car safety seats (CSSs) face a higher risk of death, especially when a child-care provider or babysitter is the primary supervisor.

Of 11,779 infant sleep-related deaths examined for the study published in Pediatrics in July, 348 (3.0%) deaths were in sleeping devices. Of these 348 deaths, 62.9% occurred in CSSs and 51.6% of the deaths in CSSs occurred in the infant’s home. Compared with other deaths in sitting devices, those reported under child-care providers or baby sitters had higher odds of occurrence (adjusted odds ratio [OR}, 2.8; 95% confidence interval [CI} 1.5-5.2; and adjusted OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.3-3.2, respectively) compared with a parent in charge.

 

Other guidelines from the AAP on child passenger safety and safe sleep practices for infants emphasize the importance of putting an infant to sleep alone, on its back, in a crib with a firm mattress and tight-fitting sheet and without bedding or blankets, to reduce the risk of sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) or other injury. Car seats should be used for infants’ safety when riding in passenger cars, and not as a substitute for a crib. If an infant falls asleep in a CSS, he/she should be transferred to a firm, safe sleeping surface as soon as possible.