I heard about this story the other day on the radio while driving around town.
Infant car safety seats can — and do — save newborns’ lives in traffic accidents. In fact, you can’t leave the hospital without one.
However, these seats, which require infants to be placed in an upright position, can also cause breathing problems when babies sleep in them, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics. The seats can compress the chest wall and reduce airway size, which could result in lower oxygen levels in the blood, the researchers found.
What makes this so interesting is that the position of the body is clearly affecting the quality of breath babies get. It doesn’t sound at all crazy to say that putting a baby in a certain position will make it hard for it to breathe, but we often don’t think at all about how sitting or lying in an odd position as adults affects the quality of our breaths.
A perfect example is the ol’ computer slouch. Next time you get a chance do a comparison of what your breath feels like when you’re standing straight and tall with your shoulders pulled back versus what it feels like when you’re sitting down and slouched in the typing position. You will probably feel a big difference — unless your shoulders are already frozen in the slouched position and you can’t actually bring them back anymore!