Oklahoma parents hoping son’s death changes child care practices

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OKLAHOMA CITY -  A metro mom and dad are begging other parents, lawmakers and caretakers to be wary of leaving a child alone in a car seat.

The family is speaking out after their 11-week-old son, Shepard, died after being put to sleep in a car seat at a home day care in Edmond back in April.

"Unfortunately, that's the good that's going to come out of my son's death, is sitting in carrying devices are not safe for sleep," Ali Dodd said.

Members of the senate, supporters and fellow parents came together for a study on child safety and Oklahoma's Childcare Service System.

"I got a phone call that no parent should every have to get, that Shepard wasn't breathing," Dodd said.

A day care worker put their son to sleep in an unbuckled car seat on the floor and left him unsupervised.

The position of his head blocked his airway, causing him to stop breathing.

"I would just ask that you continue to look at what, as the State of Oklahoma, we could do more," said Mary Ann McCaffree, MD.

The Dodds said educating parents is crucial.

While providers have always had rules and regulations against placing infants in anything but a crib or a bassinet to sleep, the Dodds want the rules to be more clear.

"They didn't really understand why, and they've never been required to know the why," Doddd said. "The why would have saved my son's life."

A conversation that will hopefully lead to preventing more child deaths in our state.

"We have to protect our infants," Dodd said. "They can't protect themselves. They are completely subjected to the quality of care that they receive, and I'm going to make sure that that's the best."

DHS representatives talked at the study, stating there’s room for revisions, like improving training requirements for child care providers on safe sleeping practices.

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