Parenting a child can be a handful. You rise early, change diapers, feed a tiny, squalling mouth, deal with miniature meltdowns, and put the little one down for (hopefully) a good night of sleep.
It’s all so tiresomely routine — until it isn’t. Without warning, a crisis pops up and suddenly you remember how precious those little lives are.
Sometimes, though, those crises aren’t your average everyday inconveniences. They can threaten your children’s lives, and when they do, you want to warn others.
That’s exactly what happened with 28-year-old Kirsti Clark. The Falkirk, Scotland, resident had gone for a car ride with her family.
Kirsti Clark has issued a warning after three-week old Harper stopped breathing after two hours in a car seat caused serious oxygen deprivation. https://t.co/dtDBMS9iCp
— Hull Live (@hulllive) April 11, 2018
Her husband, Christopher, and 3-year-old Malena and 3-week-old Harper were with her. Parents reported that Kristi and Christopher made sure to take Harper out of her car seat at every stop.
Yet they ran into rush-hour traffic on their way home. The trip suddenly stretched into an hour-and-45-minute ordeal.
When they finally arrived at their residence, they left Harper in her car seat for about 15 minutes while they put Malena to bed. Only when they went to take her out did the true horror begin.
“My husband got Harper out and put her on his knee, but she looked like she couldn’t get comfy, so he laid her down on her mat, and she was kicking about,” Kristi told the Daily Record. “I told him her lips looked blue, and then he pointed out how red her cheeks were.”
Christopher picked his newborn daughter up, and Kristi could immediately tell from the look on his face that things weren’t right. They tried to blow in the baby’s face to get a reaction.
Suddenly, foam began to froth out of little Harper’s nose and mouth. Her jaw locked in a vise-like grip.
Then her body began arching, and she started throwing her head back. Harper had begun to have a full-fledged seizure.
It turned out that Harper had suffered from oxygen deprivation from being in her car seat too long. When her parents took her out, the sudden blood flow had caused her to seize.
“This is the third newborn car seat we have bought from newborn to infant age,” Clark said according to STV News.
“I’ve never once been told a child should not be in a car seat for any length of time.”
CafeMom pointed to a study showing that infants less than a month old have more trouble breathing while in car seats than older children. It urged parents to limit newborns’ time in such seats to 30 minutes.
The Lullaby Trust, which studies infant mortality, stated, “There is a tendency to focus on how best to fit a car seat and strap a baby in, but information on the potential health risks associated with driving long distances is not usually offered. We advise parents that they should avoid traveling in cars with pre-term and very young babies for long periods of time.”
Fortunately, Harper was fine, and Kristi now wants to warn everyone about car-seat safety. “I would tell every parent to just really carefully watch their babies, and if they don’t absolutely need to be in the car seat, take them out because it is not worth what we had to go through,” she said.
“Watch your baby and know your baby. If something doesn’t seem quite right, take them straight to hospital.”
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