TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - It is a tempting option you may have done, or at least considered. Leaving your sleeping infant in the car seat, stroller or swing after they knock out.
But a startling new study finds car seats can be deadly places for babies to sleep. The research found infants are dying because parents aren't using car seats correctly.
"They really just aren't aware of what can happen because things can happen in an instant," said Susette Mcrae.
In fact, car seats and other sitting devices can be deadly. Every year, hundreds of babies are killed in them while sleeping. A new study published Monday in Pediatrics looked at infant sleep-related deaths over ten years and what caused them.
"In this study, they're saying that if you're not using devices properly, whether it be the car seats, the bouncers, the little play things, then children can potentially die from being left in there for a prolonged amount of time," explained St. Joseph’s Children’s wellness and safety specialist, Michelle Sterling.
The data showed most sleeping babies dying in sitting devices were in car seats, and 90 percent of the time, they were not being used as directed. Infants were either not strapped in properly, falling onto a hard surface, or flipping over while down for the night or napping.
"I've actually known a child that died in a car seat,” Mcrae said. “The bottom wasn’t attached and then they slipped down and then choked, so that’s pretty horrible."
There may be warning labels, but people FOX 13 spoke with believe there's a lack of awareness and education about using devices like car seats, slings and bouncers for routine sleep -- saying these deaths are preventable.
"I think its lazy, very lazy, you could just put them in bed, I mean if they wake up it's not the end of the world, you're a parent regardless,” Bria Sarracent said.
Experts say the safest way for a baby to sleep is flat in a crib or bassinet, without any loose bedding or soft objects around them.
LINK: Read the study yourself by visiting the website.