Devastated parents want action after 11-month-old son dies in car seat

By Mieke Vlok
06 November 2015

A baby's death after being left in a car seat could lead to tougher legislation in the States.

News of a young child dying in a car seat usually sparks outrage and images of irresponsible parents who left their little one in a blazing hot car, where they succumbed to the overwhelming heat.

But parents don't realise that car seats can be extremely dangerous for babies even when they’re NOT in the car.

Ali and Derek Dodd, a couple from Oklahoma in the United States, left their youngest, Shepard (11 months) with a child minder while he was fast asleep in his car seat in April this year.

Despite their warnings that she put him to sleep elsewhere, the in-home daycare owner left him in the seat on the floor of the crèche. His airways were blocked and he suffocated to death by the time the owner came to check on him.

"Part of our life has been destroyed," Derek told Fox23.

"And it's irreparable. Babies are not replaceable,” added his wife.

Their son's death has urged Ali and Derek to inform other parents about the dangers of leaving children in car seats and to campaign for stricter training programmes for child minders and tough legislation for day care centers where small children are looked after.

“I am not after day care centers, day care owners, day care workers. I am just after the facts. I just want to find out what happened and have everybody at the table looking at it and see if there's some way to do it better,” said Kay Floyd, a member of the Oklahoma senate.


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