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BABY LEFT IN CAR SEAT ALL NIGHT DIES; Coroner warns on infant sleep position.


A SIX-month-old baby girl died of asphyxia after she was left overnight in a car seat on a sitting-room floor.

Little Katie Reilly was found unresponsive by her mother Laura Reilly on the morning of January 8, 2008.

She had returned to her home at Kilcross Court, Sandyford, Co Dublin, from a pub with a barman at 2.15am after leaving her six children alone.

Katie, who normally slept in her pram, was still alive at that stage - but was unresponsive when Ms Reilly woke up and checked on her at 8.50am.

A postmortem by State pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy found the death was a sudden unexpected death in infancy due to prematurity and positional asphyxia.

She told an inquest the findings suggested the baby was dead for a few hours before she was discovered.

Dublin City Coroner's Court heard the infant had been in the car seat for up to fiveand-a-half hours. Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said it was a sudden death of a vulnerable infant because of her size and weight, with a major risk factor of positional asphyxia.

He added: "The major risk factor is the position in which the baby was in."

A jury of four men and three women returned a verdict of death by misadventure and recommended that child car seats should not be used in the home as a "prolonged rest places" for infants and should only be for car use.

Professor Cassidy said the position the child would was have been in meant her breathing could be compromised.

Because of the baby's small size, instead of being propped up in the car seat, she was able to slide down and her neck would have kinked.

There were proceedings in the district court against Ms Reilly for child neglect of all the six children.

There was a plea of guilty to the six charges and Ms Reilly was given probation for 18 months.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Oct 8, 2010
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