Parents warn others of positional asphyxiation after infant dies sleeping in car seat

Left to right: Linnea and Anders Jungling (credit: Ryne and Rachel Jungling/Safe Kids Grand Forks)

MANDAN, N.D.  — Rachel and Ryne Jungling are now sharing their story after their baby son Anders died from positional asphyxiation when he was left sleeping in a car seat, WAGA reports.

Rachel dropped off Anders and his twin sister Linnea at daycare by carrying them inside in their car seats.

Linnea was already awake and out of her car seat, but Anders was still in his.

Rachel assumed Anders was going to be taken out of the car seat soon since that’s what she says the daycare provider always did.

Rachel and Ryne were both school teachers and she got a call at school a couple hours after Anders was dropped off.

A police officer was on the other line and asked if she was sitting down.

Eventually, an officer came to pick her up and sped to the hospital with the police lights on.

Rachel called Ryne, who says he was praying the whole way to the hospital and calling his pastor.

Once the couple arrived at the hospital, doctors explained that EMTs were able to restart Anders’ heart after 40 minutes of CPR.

A detective said that Anders had been sleeping in his car seat since Rachel had dropped him off earlier.

His airway had become constricted while he slept and he began asphyxiating.

“When a car seat is in a base in a vehicle it is tilted back, the baby’s head remains tilted back and their airway remains open,” Rachel said. “When a child is in a car seat on the floor, their head can tilt forward, cutting off airflow to their lungs.”

Anders spent three days in a specialty hospital on life support before his family had to say goodbye.

Rachel and Ryne are spreading awareness by working with Carma Hanson, who has been a neonatal nurse for 25 years and is also a car seat technician.

Hansen coordinates Safe Kids Grand Forks, which is an organization that works to stop preventable injuries.

A correctly installed car seat is still the safest place for a baby in a vehicle.

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