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Research Claims Sleeping In Car Seats May Not Be Safe

Taking your child for a drive in the car is one of the most commonly used methods for getting a bed time battling baby off to sleep, but according to new research, having an infant sleep in car seats positioned over 30° may not be the safest option.

A new research study published in the British Medical Journal, has reported that newborn infants may be at risk of breathing difficulties if left in car safety seats for long periods; particularly when travelling.

The research, done by Bristol University, was funded by The Lullaby Trust. It is the first study which takes into account the effect that being in a moving vehicle, may have on an infant in a car seat.

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The Bristol study found that “Placing an infant at the more upright 40° position, along with the vibration experienced in a car, leads to significantly increased heart and respiratory rates, and decreased oxygen saturation. Simulating motion reveals a striking increase in potentially clinically significant oxygen desaturations. Surprisingly, we found these differences were similar in term and preterm infants”.

Our friends at Kiddy say their line of car seats are safe, as when placed in the lie flat position, the seat back has an angle of less than 30 degrees. This angle of incline was proven in the research study to have no affect on heart and respiratory rates in the infant participants. Respiratory compromise can also be lessened with good fitting of the baby in the seat. Kiddy also make a Premature Baby Inlay which can be used to reduce the open space around a small or premature baby, and to keep the baby well positioned, when used in conjunction with a Kiddy car seat.

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It's recommended that parents also avoid driving long distances without a break. It is clear that further research is needed to explore what more can be done to ensure babies are safe and comfortable when travelling in a car seat. A properly fitted car seat is paramount for baby's safety.

As always, we would love to hear your opinions. Please leave a comment below.

About the Author

Editor of eumom.ie, Mairéad Cahalan is a creator of content, a lover of music, red wine and coffee, and a part-time wedding singer! Find her on Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud and LinkedIn.

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