Study: Improper use of sitting, carrying devices can lead to infant death

April 29, 2015

HERSHEY, Pa. -- Using sitting or carrying devices such as car seats or bouncers as sleeping environments can lead to infant deaths, according to a study just published in The Journal of Pediatrics by Penn State Hershey’s Dr. Erich Batra and colleagues from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Children’s National Medical Center.

The researchers reviewed deaths that were reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission of children younger than 2 that occurred in sitting and carrying devices between April 2004 and December 2008.

“Many parents use sitting or carrying devices not realizing that there are hazards when they do this,” Batra said. The data include information from death certificates, reports from medical examiners and coroners, and interviews with family members and witnesses.

The researchers analyzed records for 47 deaths associated with sitting and carrying devices; all but one were attributed to asphyxia (positional or strangulation). Two-thirds of the cases involved car seats; strangulation from straps accounted for 52 percent of the car seat deaths. The remainder of deaths occurred in slings, swings, bouncers and strollers. The elapsed time from when the infants were last seen alive to when they were discovered ranged from as little as four minutes to up to 11 hours. The study included newborns as well as toddlers.

The press release on this study is available here. The full paper can be found here.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 30, 2015