Parents Lose Son Due To Tragic Car Seat Accident

Ali and Derek Dodd lost their 11-week-old son, Shepard, when a day care worker put the young boy in an unbuckled car seat in an empty room on April 6. After two hours, the daycare worker returned to the room to find Shepard blue and unresponsive.

Derek Dodd said, "I was able to kiss him on the forehead as they wheeled him in. He was cold. So I knew it was coming." Authorities warn that infants should never be put to sleep in car seats, as it can be fatal.

A citation from the Department of Human Services showed the day care operator was warned about the dangers of allowing a small child to sleep in a car seat just 11 days before Shepard's death.

Ali said "It is unthinkable that these choices were so easy to make. That she knew better. She was counseled just days before by DHS. She had had a violation 11 days before." Shepard's death is not listed in the public file, and the DHS records posted online only indicate that Shepard was “placed in a car seat to sleep.”

Angela Dickson, Safe Sleep and Social Work coordinator for the Maternal and Child Health Service at State Health said, "It happens every day. It's so sad. It happens every day. It doesn't matter how much education you have or how many parenting classes you've had. It can still happen."

It is likely Shepard died from positional asphyxia, which happens with newborns and babies who get into a sleeping position and their airway closes. They do not yet have the neck strength to lift their heads enough to breathe.

Ali added, "What it says on there for our incident ... it says she allowed a baby to sleep in a car seat. It doesn't say anything about him dying. Even parents wouldn't even know that he died in her care."

Photo: Mirror, Faith Tap

Who knew car seats can be so dangerous.

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