Parents call for strict guidelines on infants sleeping in car seats after loss of infant son.

Even though this story happened elsewhere it could just as easily be one of our own families.

Ali and Derek Dodd from Oklahoma, US, are suffering the loss of their 11 week old son Shepard, who died at a day care after being put to sleep in an unbuckled car seat and  left unsupervised.

The position of his tiny head compromised his airways, causing him to stop breathing. Ali Dodd says she received a phone call no mother should ever have to take, telling her that her son had passed away.

What happened to the Dodd family could happen to anyone. Their terrible loss brings to light how unsafe this is for our little ones and highlights how important it is for more education to be provided to parents and caregivers about the dangers involved.

“Unfortunately, that’s the good that’s going to come out of my son’s death, is sitting in carrying devices are not safe for sleep,” mum Ali Dodd said.

“We want to stress that our mission is not to put any more fear in parents about how to keep their children safe.

“Our mission is simply to educate them and make people aware of dangers that many of us really didn’t know about before.

“When a car seat is properly used, as it is intended to be used, which is for travel purposes only, and if a baby is frequently and properly supervised while in them, then a car seat isn’t a dangerous thing to use.

“Same goes for rockers, swings, slings, or any other rocking, travelling or sitting device.”

Ali also has a five year old son Presley, said: “Despite how many deaths are caused by unsafe sleep practices and how many new studies and factual information published about the dangers of using car seats and sitting devices for sleeping, we are still seeing a shocking number of folks out there saying how many doctors and paediatricians still actually encourage new parents to put their baby in car seats to sleep if they have acid reflux or other similar problems.

“They are misleading and putting lives in danger every time they promote unsafe sleep practices.

“The public has to be aware of these dangers and be proactive about avoiding them.

“The risk is just not worth it, and sometimes you just have to play it safe even if it’s inconvenient.

“Our children’s lives are so much more important than convenience.

“Why wouldn’t parents want to take every single precaution they possibly could to keep their babies safe?

“Not to mention, parents also should feel confident that the child care providers that we trust to care for our babies are also doing everything they should be doing to keep them safe.”

shephards watch

Image via Facebook – Shepard’s Watch

How to Sleep your Baby Safely: via Sids and Kids

1. Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side

2. Sleep baby with head and face uncovered

3. Keep baby smoke free before birth and after

4. Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day

5. Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to twelve months

•When using a car seat or carrier, babies must always be supervised or else they can change positions and block their tiny airways. A good rule of thumb for parents to follow is to never, under any circumstances, use a car seat for anything other than its intended purpose, which is to keep baby safe in the car.

Our hearts ache for this family. I hope something good can come of their story and some strict guidelines be put in place across the nation.

Share your thoughts below.

  • How sad is this story can’t imagine what the parents went through


  • Wow what a thing they have been though, takes a strong person to turn something so horrible into something amazing


  • Rest in peace you beautiful angel :( <3


  • What a heart breaking story. Thoughts are with family and good on them for using this tragic incident as a eye opener and bringing attention to child safety.


  • Thoughts are with this family, certainly not a phone call any mother would want to recieve. I applaud your efforts in raising awareness.


  • I agree with what has been said here wholeheartedly. I am so sorry for the negligence taken with your dear son and I pray healing and blessings on your lives in the loss of your son.


  • How awful for these parents!
    This reminds me of a time when I picked up my daughter at day care after work and she had been put in a sort of material hanging sling to make her sleep. She was red and sweaty and had been crying. I was so upset. Now I think I’m lucky nothing worse happened to her because maybe if she was in there for longer, it could have. I have also seen babies sleeping in the cot room with blankets on their faces and when I asked about it they said its the only way they will sleep!


  • this is heart breaking to here the poor parents you drop your child at childcare believing that there safe it’s awful to here that things like this happens I am a childcare worker and am happy to say that our childcare take very special care in safe sleep.


  • Goodness me! How terrible for that poor family. I hope more people take notice of this!


  • Just heartbreaking. They are amazing to give back and raise awareness.


  • It is tragic that this happens to any child – however I like the positivity of them promoting wellness for other children. God bless this family.


  • yes this could be avoided for other people so they do need to let people know and it is sad that it had to happen for people to be aware of it.


  • what a tragic accident, I feel for this family because it is a loss that could have been avoided. Wishing them all the best with their campaign


  • Lke it

    • sorry to sound rude but what is to like about this story, it is heartbreaking and sad and my heart goes out to this family. The only good thing that could come from this that the wonderful family bring this problem to light and in turn my save another bubs life.


  • What a tragedy! Such heart break for this family. How many parents pull up in the car after a day out, see bub sleeping soundly and Keane them in the car to continue napping?! I know I’ve done it. How lucky have we all been that this hasn’t happened to any one of us. My heart goes out ro this family, the death of a child is something you never truly come back from


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