Shepard Dodd was only 11 weeks old when he died in his infant car seat. It’s a risk that not many parents know about, but the accident happens more often than they should.
Now Shepard’s parents, Ali and Derek Dodd, are sharing their story so that this doesn’t happen to another parent again!
“Shepard was in the home of his licensed daycare provider. Shepard had a runny nose and a little congestion, so when it was time for his nap he was swaddled and placed in his car seat so he could sleep more upright. The straps were left completely unbuckled.” writes The Car Seat Lady on Facebook.
“While he was sleeping, Shepard’s body shifted and his head fell down into a chin-to-chest position and because he was so young he couldn’t pick his head up to open up his airway. No one noticed in time. He died of asphyxiation.”
Car seats are made to protect children while traveling in a car, but they can pose a danger if infants are not properly strapped in and monitored. What happened to Shepard is called positional asphyxiation. Babies haven’t’ got the neck muscles to hold their head upright so if they are not properly buckled in to a rocker or car seat, their chin can fall on their chests cutting off their air supply.
Ali and Derek Dodd are lobbying the state legislature to introduce safe sleep standards for babies and are warning other parents of the dangers of letting babies sleep in car seats.
“It’s not worth getting a little more sleep or 30 minutes more of quiet time,” Derek Dodd told KFOR. “It’s just not worth it when it’s as dangerous as it is.”