|Is sleeping in a car seat dangerous?|
Last week, the AAP was at it again, playing loose with the data but tight with recommendations based upon them. This time, it's car seats. In an article in the August, 2019 edition of the journal Pediatrics, Liaw et al present data showing that, in a cohort of 11,779 infant deaths, 3% occurred in "sitting devices", and in 63% of this 3%, the sitting device was a car safety seat (CSS). In the deaths in CSSs, 51.6% occurred in the child's home rather than in a car. What was the rate of infant death per hour in the CSS? We don't know. What is the expected rate of death for the same amount of time sleeping, you know, in the recommended arrangement? We don't know! We're at it again - we have a numerator without a denominator, so no rate and no rate to compare it to. It could be that 3% of the infant deaths occurred in car seats because infants are sleeping in car seats 3% of the time!