A mother has shared a warning after her newborn was left foaming at the mouth and stopped breathing in her car seat.

When Kirsti Clark, 28, and her husband Christopher Clark, 29, lay three-week-old Harper Clark on a play mat after a long journey home due to rush-hour traffic, the baby’s lips turned blue, her jaw clenched shut and white foam started frothing out of her nose and mouth.

The couple grabbed their three-year-old Malena Clark and raced Harper to hospital, where medics resuscitated the baby after she had suffered a seizure, shares Daily Mail.

Car Seat Danger

A consultant warned the parents that spending more than one hour in a car seat can cause babies’ oxygen levels to plummet.

Ms Clark is determined to share what happened to her baby girl as she and Christopher had never heard that such a short time in a completely safe car seat could have such dire consequences.

Ms Clark said: ‘When we got home it was way past Malena’s bedtime so brought Harper in, in her car seat and she stayed in there for 15 minutes as we got Malena into bed.

‘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.

‘I told him her lips looked blue and then he pointed out how red her cheeks were. He picked her up and I could tell straight away from his face that something was wrong.

When she’s feeding sometimes she holds her breath and the health visitor told us to blow in her face so we tried that but it didn’t help then suddenly this white foam started coming out her nose and mouth.

‘It was so scary. My husband was holding her and patting her back and I was trying to get her mouth open to make sure she didn’t swallow her tongue but her jaw was clenched shut.

‘It wasn’t like a normal seizure, she was arching her back and throwing her head back.

‘My husband kept asking if she was breathing and I just had to say “I don’t know”. She kept closing her eyes and I was trying to keep her awake but then they would glaze over. My wee girl was so panicked as well.

That day they had set out for an afternoon of shopping with their girls at 2.30pm and did a 45-minute drive to a shopping centre where they spent almost three hours with Harper in her pram.

The family then did a ten-minute drive to look at bunk beds where Ms Clark walked around with Harper as the baby had just had a feed.

At around 6.30pm they set off on the drive home which took around an hour and 45 minutes, and Harper spent a further 15 minutes in her car seat while mum and dad got Malena into bed.

Oxygen deprivation

Spending two hours in her car seat caused such severe oxygen deprivation that when Harper was taken out and lay down, the sudden increase sent her body into shock causing the baby to fit.

After being rushed to emergency and resuscitated, the baby girl spent the night in the hospital where doctors carried out blood tests, an ECG and a car seat test.

While Harper was found to be in great health and her car seat completely safe, consultants informed the parents that any tot who spends more than one hour in a car seat can suffer oxygen deprivation.

Stunned Mum

The stunned mum admitted she was initially in denial as she couldn’t believe she had never heard of the risks before – but then felt angry and guilty.

However since speaking to other parents, Kirsti has realised that not many know such a short amount of time in a car seat could put a baby’s life at risk and the mum is hoping to raise awareness.

Ms Clark said: ‘When the consultant told us it was the car seat I couldn’t believe it. I thought ‘there’s no way’. I couldn’t understand why nobody had ever told us.

‘We had obviously heard about not keeping babies in car seats overnight because it causes curvature of the spine but not about anything like this.

“Christopher and I felt so angry at ourselves – we felt like we did this to our baby. It was horrendous.

‘But we’ve spoken to so many people and they had never heard about it either and then some people have conflicting opinions on the time.

‘That’s why we knew we had to share what happened to Harper because parents need to know. Just two hours in a car seat and we could have lost her, it’s terrifying.

‘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.

‘Watch your baby and know your baby. If something doesn’t seem quite right take them straight to hospital.’

Car Seat Dangers

Researchers have previously warned that infants under four weeks shouldn’t travel in car seats for more than 30 minutes. Read more HERE>

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  • Wow….i have never heard of time limits for kids being in car seats so I would think this kind of reaction is very rare as surely we would have heard more about it.
    Im gld everything turned out ok.


  • Very scary


  • This is so scary. I’d never heard of this before and I used to travel the minimum of 2 hours to town, shop and then 2 hours return.


  • I had never heard of this before.


  • Wow, so pleased things turned out. This is the first I’ve heard of recommended time spent in a capsule. Whilst I don’t actually recall how long my son would have spent in the car capsule, you hear of parents driving around at night for as long as they can to get their child to sleep, etc. and I’m sure many a parent has had to endure a long drive to visit someone. Useful information.


  • Wow! So scary – I didn’t know this could happen. We have always travelled around with our kids. I don’t think we did long journeys until they were at least a month old so maybe this makes a difference too.


  • So scary ! I never knew !


  • What does tot mean? I know they say under 4 weeks shouldn’t spend longer than half an hour but is that what they mean by tot or does it extend to older babies too?


  • How scary. When my son was 8 weeks old we took him on the 10 hour drive to Adelaide. Thank goodness it all turned out ok for us.


  • I remember that previous article stating that infants shouldn’t travel more than half an hour. Very scary and concerning. I would have never imagined that such a thing could happen!!


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