Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Public Service Message

From today's PJStar:


More investigation and testing is needed to determine how two infants, in separate, unrelated incidents, died Sunday after sleeping with a caregiver on an adult bed.

No evidence of trauma was found Monday at autopsies for Jaylin Maxison, 5 months, of 1105 W. McBean St. and Kendrick Franklin Jr., 2 months, of 102 N. Braves Court.

Results from those tests, which could tell authorities if someone rolled or laid on top of the children, causing them to suffocate, will not be available for several weeks.

There was another, similar death less than a month ago. That's three babies within a month.

Accidental suffocation was the cause of death for the one a month ago. And I'd be willing to bet my nursing license that the same thing will be found to be the cause of these newest deaths.

Part of my job entails counseling pregnant women and new moms. Sometimes, I give different information to each woman, depending on her circumstances or needs. But the one thing that I always emphasize...to every, single new mom or mom-to-be...is to never sleep with your small (as in under 6 months) infant in bed with you. Never. EVER.

I'll admit...when I was a new mother, I did it. I was young and stupid and extremely sleep-deprived. The only way I could get Julie to sleep (or so I thought), was to put her in bed with me.

We were both lucky.

Not only is it extremely dangerous, it becomes a habit that's extremely hard to break as the child gets older.

Infants should be put to sleep in a crib or bassinet...on their backs...wearing a sleeper and just one thin blanket. Even though we might feel chilly, an infant's metabolism...and temperature...is naturally a little higher than an adults. Trust me...they won't get cold. Don't put anything else in the crib. No stuffed animals. No "bumper pads". No pillows.

Three senseless, totally preventable deaths in a month. It breaks my heart.


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