3 Percent of Infant Sleep-Related Deaths Occur in Sitting Devices

Less than 10 percent of deaths occur in properly used car seats during travel

MONDAY, May 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- About 3 percent of sleep-related infant deaths occur in a sitting device, like a car safety seat (CSS) that is not being used for travel at the time of death, according to a study published online May 20 in Pediatrics.

Peter Liaw, from the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and colleagues used data from the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention (2004 to 2014) to describe factors associated with sleep-related infant deaths in sitting devices (e.g., CSSs and strollers).

The researchers identified 11,779 infant sleep-related deaths, of which 3.0 percent occurred in sitting devices. The majority of these deaths in sitting devices were in CSSs (62.9 percent), followed by bouncers, swings, and other devices (35.1 percent) and strollers (2 percent). Of the CSS-related deaths, the CSS was used as directed in less than 10 percent of cases. The vast majority of sitting-device deaths involved at least one risk factor (81.9 percent), and 54.9 percent involved at least two risk factors. More than half of CSS-related deaths occurred at the child's home (51.6 percent). Compared with other deaths, deaths in sitting devices had higher odds of happening under the supervision of a child care provider (adjusted odds ratio, 2.8) or babysitter (adjusted odds ratio, 2.0) versus under the supervision of a parent.

"Using sitting devices for sleeping purposes in nontraveling contexts may pose a risk to the infant," the authors write.

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