Postural asphyxia happens when the child’s position makes it difficult for air to pass through; know how to avoid — English (Brazil)

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Postural asphyxia, also called positional asphyxia, happens when the position in which the child is placed makes it difficult for air to pass through. This type of case occurs more frequently in babies younger than four months, as they still do not have the necessary muscle tone to support the head, which ends up moving forward or to the side, which can block breathing. Babies born with hypotonia, which is muscle weakening, also need attention to avoid postural asphyxia.

The main moments of attention should occur during the use of:

  • Car seats;
  • resting chairs;
  • Certain types of kangaroos;
  • Slings;
  • Inclined carts.

To avoid risks, it is important to emphasize preventive measures:

  • Do not let the baby sleep in the car seat or the booster seat; the right place for the baby to sleep is in the crib. Even if the baby slept in the car seat during the car ride, it is important to remove it as soon as you arrive at your destination;

  • During car rides, pay attention to the baby’s head and change its position if it is lying to the side or forward;

  • Be aware of any different noise that the baby makes when in the car seat;

  • Remove the baby from the car seat whenever you reach the desired location, even if he is awake;

  • Do not leave any pillows, stuffed animals or other objects in the baby’s car seat;

  • In the first month of life, avoid car trips longer than 20 minutes and, if you need to make a longer journey, plan stops along the way; try to have an adult next to the child.

early childhood care

During the first week of December, the Ministry of Health disseminates a series of contents on specific care in early childhood, a moment that includes the age group from zero to six years old. Follow along.

Fran Martins
Ministry of Health



Official content – Fact Check – Verified

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