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Cot death fear over car seats

11th December 2006

18082006_chinese_baby1.jpgVery small babies who are left sleeping in their car seats once the journey has ended seem to be at greater risk of respiratory problems which could lead to 'cot death', a study in New Zealand has found.

Researchers reported nine cases of healthy, full-term babies who were discovered blue, slumped over and not breathing in their infant safety seats.

In all but one case, the babies had been left in standard, semi-reclining car seats in the house following a car journey during which they fell asleep.

The results, published in the British Medical Journal, described the case of a 10 week-old boy who was found blue in his car seat in the kitchen. He had stopped breathing.

A five week-old was found in a similar state in her car seat on the floor. Both mothers revived their babies with emergency resuscitation.

One baby, however, turned blue while his mother was still driving.

All the babies who took part in the 18 month-long study survived, but later reconstructions showed how the car seat had forced the newborn into a slumped posture with the chin pressed down on the chest, restricting the airway.

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