When Derek and Ali Dodd dropped their baby son off after the local day care, they thought everything was perfectly fine. They trusted the day care and never had a problem with any of the employees. The Dodds could never have expected that a careless mistake would scar this family for the rest of their lives.


Derek and Ali’s infant son, Shepard, was dropped off at the day care. There, an employee placed the infant child to bed in a car seat rather than a crib. Two hours later, when the employee returned to check on Shepard, he was horrified. Shepard had turned completely blue. A call to 911 was no use. Shepard passed away.


Babies are never to be set to bed in a car seat or a bouncer. Sleeping in these can actually suffocate a baby if they are not strapped in correctly. The Dodds and the day care learned this the hard way when Shepard died of “positional asphyxiation.”

However, this could have easily happened to any of us. I, for one, never knew that car seats and bouncers could prevent a baby from breathing. It’s a little known fact that needs to be brought to life so a tragedy like this can be avoided in the future.


Derek shared this story with the media in order to raise awareness. He did not want other parents to go through the same fate he and his family experienced.

“I was able to kiss him on the forehead as they wheeled him in. He was cold. So I knew it was coming.”

Shepard died that morning. There was nothing his parents could do about it.


Babies die of positional asphyxiation all the time. It’s just one of those things that few people are actually aware about. This is why the Dodds hope their story can bring light to this issue.


To show just how “unknown” this issue is, Ali points out that the initial report failed to include their son Shepard’s death.

“What it says on there for our incident…it says she allowed a baby to sleep in a car seat. It doesn’t say anything about him dying. Even parents, wouldn’t even know that he died in her care.”

People enrolling their children at the day care would not even know that a child had passed away before under their care.


To make matters worse, the family was even more devastated by the fact that the day care had received warning about putting children to sleep in car seats just days prior.

“She knew better. She was counseled just days before by DHS. She had had a violation eleven days before.”

The day care had their license revoked recently.


But the Dodds are not the only ones who lost a child to positional asphyxiation.

Jennifer Albright lost her two-month-old daughter Emily when she passed away in a bouncy seat.

“She was strong. She was healthy. There was nothing wrong with her.”

Now all Jennifer can do is look at scrapbooks in order to remind herself of Emily’s short time in her life. Any parent could have easily made this mistake.


When a child or baby is incorrectly strapped into a car seat or bouncer, the airway that reaches a child’s lungs can become blocked. The child then can not get the necessary amount of oxygen for basic survival.


A Facebook page has been created in light of Shepard’s tragedy. The ABCDEF rule is used to make sure that no child ever suffers the same fate that Shepard did.

Save a picture of this image to your phone and then share it with all your friends!


Derek and Ali Dodd urge you to use their story as a lesson. Next time you decide to skip the crib, don’t. Remember Shepard’s story and the consequences of allowing your baby to sleep in a car rest or bouncer.


It’s not worth it to let a child sleep in a car seat or bouncer.

“It’s not worth getting a little more sleep or 30 minutes more of quiet time. It’s just not worth it when it’s as dangerous as it is.”


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