A mother of two boys, it is not immediately evident that Lisa Smith was once a mother of a baby girl.
At the age of 17 months, Amelia, affectionately known as Mia, passed away in 2015.
Despite the time that has passed since her daughter’s death, Lisa is opting to share her story so that everyone is aware this unthinkable loss was entirely preventable.
Naps are common at daycare providers, and this provider was no different.
What was different was that Mia was put into a car seat for her nap, a practice Lisa and her husband was unaware of. This practice would eventually cost the girl her life.
The couple had always assumed their daughter slept in a crib – in fact, on the day of her death, there was an unused crib just a few feet away from the toddler.
Additionally, this was a car seat that was supplied by the daycare provider and thus was not fit for the girl.
Most importantly, there was no permission given for this practice.
Thanks to a Facebook post, both parents were well aware of the deaths that have arisen from allowing the child to fall asleep unsupervised in the car seat.
Thus, they have taken care to ensure she was always removed from the car seat and her sleep monitored at their feet.
What many parents are unaware of is that allowing a child to fall asleep in a car seat can cause positional asphyxia, a condition that Mia died from.
This condition, unfortunately, is more common than most people realize.
It is caused by the restriction of a baby’s airway when the child is sitting upright, causing suffocation.
A baby or toddler has yet to develop the strength to hold their necks up, they can end up sleeping with their chins against their necks or end up scooting down.
Both of these positions can block off airflow, causing the child to silently suffocate.
Because of this, it is known as a silent killer, as children will die quietly in their sleep, with no signs of distress.
A study published by the Journal of Pediatrics in 2015 had revealed that 48% of car set deaths and 75% of swing deaths between 2004 and 2008 was caused by positional asphyxia.
The study concluded that babies and toddlers should be always be properly restrained in car seats with fully buckled straps, and always supervised during use.
They should also never be used as sleeping areas outside a vehicle.
Unfortunately for Mia, sleeping in a car seat was part of her daily routine.
According to police reports, this was such a normal routine that even the toddler knew the car seat was her napping spot and would run straight to it once in the nap room.
Although it has been three years since her daughter’s death, Lisa still shares her story publicly in hopes of preventing more tragic deaths such as this.
Hopefully, more parents and caretakers will become aware of this condition and will keep a closer eye on their children so that this will no longer be such a common case.