Not the car seat.A sweet 1-year-old baby tragically died recently when he was left to sleep in his car seat (not in the car). According to police, Elizabeth Harding, who ran an unlicensed daycare, left Chase Hunter in his car seat while he was sleeping with the harness unbuckled. Chase moved in his sleep and accidentally wrapped the harness around his neck and was strangled. Harding has been charged with child neglect resulting in death.
No words can ever do justice to how devastating it is when an innocent child whose entire life was ahead of him passes away, but it's extremely important for parents and caretakers to know that a baby should not be left to sleep in a car seat.
This is something I've done myself before if my daughter stayed sleeping after being in the car, but after hearing about this poor, poor, sweet angel, I'll never do it again -- even if the harness is buckled.
More from The Stir: Mom Installs Car Seat Wrong, Charged With Baby's Death
According to safety expert Jane Husz: "A car seat is a car seat, it needs to be in the car. What happens is the child is in a car seat for an extended time they will slump down and any time they slump down their lungs will be compromised and breathing ability is diminished." She also added that the best place for a baby to be sleeping is in a crib. "It needs to be in a crib, or port-a-crib works fine. Just make sure there is a tight sheet, no other toys, or blankets, nothing in there." There are also many other important rules to car seat safety, which The Stir has conveniently highlighted. Please read, and please pass along.
It's always so incredibly heartbreaking when one innocent soul has to be used as an example of what we should or shouldn't be doing as parents, but again, this information is important -- not just for our babies, but so sweet little Chase didn't pass away in vain. Please share.
Have you ever left your child to sleep in the car seat?
Image via Nicole Fabian-Weber