Ran across this article on CNN.com and thought I would pass it on to you new Moms out there. I was unaware of this problem before today. But please don’t stop using your car seat. Just use it for travel and do not let the baby sleep in it instead of a crib. Fellow Mom bloggers please post something about this so your followers will know. I think we need to reach as many readers as possible with this important information.
Infant car safety seats can — and do — save newborns’ lives in traffic accidents. In fact, you can’t leave the hospital without one.
However, these seats, which require infants to be placed in an upright position, can also cause breathing problems when babies sleep in them, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics. The seats can compress the chest wall and reduce airway size, which could result in lower oxygen levels in the blood, the researchers found.
“Car seats and car beds can result in mild respiratory compromise in about 20 percent of newborns,” explains lead researcher T. Bernard Kinane, M.D., the chief of pulmonary pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston. “These safety devices should only be used for protection during travel and not as a replacement for a crib.”
Many parents think of car seats as a cozy spot for kids to sleep, even outside of the car, because they’re so easy to use, says Selena Silva, the program coordinator at the Child Passenger Safety Program at Children’s Hospital, in Denver, Colorado.
In the new study, 200 healthy newborns spent 30 minutes in a hospital crib, 60 minutes in a car bed, and 60 minutes in a car seat. The infants had lower oxygen levels when in the car seats and car beds than when they were sleeping in hospital cribs.
Specifically, the infants had an average oxygen saturation level of 95.7 percent in a car seat, compared with 96.3 percent in a car bed, and 97.9 percent in a hospital crib. The researchers repeated the experiment for two-hour sleep intervals and got similar results. Kinane believes it would be a good idea to redesign infant car seats so that they do not cause chest compression. His idea? “New buckles and a new back to allow the head to fall back,” he suggests. For the full article you can go here.