A grieving mother has warned others of the dangers of letting children sleep in a car seat after losing her 18-month-old girl.
Three years ago Lisa Smith, from Aledo in Texas, got the call no parent wants to hear after her babysitter put little Mia to sleep in a car seat.
“I got a call while I was at work,” Ms Smith told US news outlet WFAA-TV.
“Worst call I’ve ever had in my life, ‘Drop everything. Mia didn’t wake up from her nap’.”
Mia died from positional asphyxia, meaning her breathing was restricted by the position she was in.
“There’s nothing in the car seat that’s designed to sleep,” trauma injury prevention specialist Sharon Evans toldWFAA-TV.
“Of course, if the straps aren’t tight, the child can kind of slump down.”
Children are at risk of being strangled or asphyxiated, Ms Evans said.
Mia’s mother said she knew the risks of leaving a child to sleep in a car seat and was shocked to discover her babysitter, who ran a licensed daycare centre in Iowa, had allowed it.
“I walk around town and see people using a car seat on the seats at restaurants or putting them on the floor at tables,” Ms Smith said.
“I literally walk up to people and I say, ‘You know, I had a daughter … who passed away and I just want you to be really careful’.”