not sleep with your baby
Infant deaths are preventable
Wanda English Burnett
A baby dies each week and it can be prevented. Please share
this information with your readers, Barbara Bowling, supervisor
at the local department of child services in Versailles, told
the Osgood Journal.
Bowling said that according to statistics from the Indiana Department
of Child Services, a death a week occurs because someone is sleeping
with a baby. Its that simple. The tragedy can be prevented.
Usually its a parent or sibling who share a bed, sofa or
chair with an infant causing them to be accidentally suffocated.
Some have died because a parent rolled on top of them and some
infants were trapped by the bed frame, headboard, footboard, or
between the bed and wall, furniture or some other object.
One tragic death occurred when a family joined others for a reunion.
A young mother allowed her two-month-old son to sleep in an adult
bed with three siblings. The baby was unresponsive the next morning
with the cause of death being asphyxia. A teenager sleeping in
the same bed had accidentally rolled on top of the infant.
Bed sharing has become common for Indiana families and the result
is devastating, according to James Payne, director of the Indiana
Department of Child Services.
The most vulnerable are children ages six months and younger.
While some parents feel sleeping with their infant is a bonding
experience, or that the baby will be warmer or more comfortable,
Payne advises against it. The American Academy of Pediatrics along
with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission have warned against
infants sleeping with their parents. I want to echo this
warning, Payne noted.
The safest place for a baby to sleep is in a safety-approved crib
or bassinet in the same room with the parent or caregiver, according
to Payne. Adult beds are not made for babies and carry a risk
of accidental entrapment and suffocation. A babys risk of
dying is 40 times greater while sleeping on an adult bed rather
than in a safe crib.
Parents can create a safe sleeping area for their baby by always
placing the baby on his/her back on a firm mattress covered with
only a tight fitting crib sheet. Also, parents should remove all
soft, loose or fluffy bedding, including pillows, blankets and
stuffed animals from the babys sleeping space.
We want Hoosier families to realize that bed-sharing with
an infant is an alarming unsafe practice. It only takes a moment
for a child to suffocate...a moment that will be frozen in time
and a horror that will last forever, Payne concluded.
Bowling echoes the warning, saying the problem isnt just
somewhere else. Its here in Ripley County as well,
she told the Osgood Journal.
You can support prevention efforts by purchasing a KIDS FIRST
TRUST FUND license place. More information is available at www.in.gov/dcs.