There are few things more heartbreaking than seeing your child fight for their life.
So keep Kirsti Clark, 28, and her husband Christopher Clark, 29, in your thoughts. The couple chose to spend a day out with their daughters, three-year-old Malena and three-week-old Harper, in April of this year. They had no idea that the vacation would be one to remember for all the wrong reasons.
Their problems began soon after they returned home following a long journey. When they returned home, they laid Harper down on her play mat and immediately knew something was wrong. Harper’s lips were blue, her jaw was clenched, and white foam frothed from her mouth and nostrils.
Kirsti has a clear message for every parent, with the terror of that day still haunting her thoughts…
April 4 was supposed to be a fun day out for Kirsti and Christopher. The couple left their home at 2:30 p.m. with their two young girls for a day of shopping.
They were finished by 6:30 p.m., but got delayed in traffic on the way home. Harper was strapped into her car seat for the whole ride, which took 1 hour and 45 minutes. When they arrived, the three-week-old remained in her seat for another 15 minutes while Kirsti and Christopher put Malena to bed.
However, when the parents removed Harper from her car seat, they noticed the frightening symptoms and decided she needed to be rushed to the hospital right away.
According to the Daily Record, “When we came home, it was way beyond Malena’s bedtime, so we took Harper in in her car seat and she sat in there for 15 minutes while we got Malena into bed.”
“My husband brought Harper out and put her on his knee, but she didn’t seem to be getting comfortable, so he put her down on her mat, where she started kicking around.”
“I told him her lips were blue, and he said her cheeks were crimson,” I explained. He took her up, and I could tell something wasn’t right from the look on his face.”
Despite Kirsti’s concerns of losing her daughter, hospital doctors were able to resuscitate Harper. They warned parents that keeping their children in a car seat for more than an hour puts them at danger of oxygen deprivation.
Harper’s oxygen levels had dropped to dangerously low levels, causing her to have a seizure. Her episode was caused by a rapid surge in oxygen as a result of her being spread out on the floor.
Kirsti is now keen to alert all parents about what she believes is a relatively unknown danger: “I couldn’t believe it when the consultant informed us it was the car seat.” ‘There’s no way,’ I thought. I was perplexed as to why no one had ever informed us.
“We had certainly heard about not leaving newborns in car seats overnight since it causes spinal curvature, but not about anything like this,” says the warning.
“When my little girl was a baby, we used to take four-hour drives down to Cornwall to visit family, and we never had any problems.” Harper is a big girl, and the doctors told us at the hospital that it is usually a problem with premature babies. She weighed 8lb 5oz when she was born and now weighs 8lb 9oz. Christopher and I were furious at ourselves as we realised that was the reason — we felt like we had done this to our baby. “It was a nightmare.” But we’ve spoken to a lot of people who had never heard of it before, and some of them have differing viewpoints on the subject.
“That’s why we realized we had to tell Harper’s parents about what happened to her. We could have lost her in just two hours in a car seat, which is awful. “Watch your baby and know your baby,” I would advise any parent. “If they don’t need to be in the car seat, take them out because what we went through was not worth it.” Take them to the hospital right away if something doesn’t seem right.”
This is terrible – Harper was literally foaming at the mouth.
Harper was fortunate to recover completely and is now completely healthy, but the scenario could have been far worse had things gone differently. Kirsti and Christopher, thankfully, responded promptly when they realized anything was amiss, and the hospital medics were able to save the day.
Did you know that leaving a baby in a car seat for too long can be dangerous? Spread the word about this story to your relatives and friends. It has the potential to save a young person’s life!