Tulsa Health Dept. Issues Warning After 2 Children Suffocate In Bed With Parents

Monday, November 25th 2019, 11:31 pm
By: News On 6

The Tulsa Health Department and Tulsa Police are working together to help educate families about the deadly consequences of sleeping with small children.

This comes after two Tulsa babies suffocated in bed with their parents this month. Tulsa Police say on average, at least one baby will die each month in this city because they are smothered while sleeping with an adult. Officers say the deaths are tragic because they are so preventable. In the years Tulsa Police Sgt Mark Kraft has been working these deaths he says he can think of two cases where the death was completely unpreventable.

It is a pattern Kraft and the Tulsa Health Department are doing everything in their power to stop.

"I can tell you that it is absolutely not an accident that is rare or that only happens sometimes," said Tulsa Police Sgt Mark Kraft, “They just experienced the death of their infant and they didn't think they were doing anything wrong, they were just being the best parents that they could."

Their main tool is education. They want to show families what safe sleeping arrangements look like and what could be deadly.

"So puppy dog goes away, any animals…so we are going to bring the blanket out….Even any hats or socks on the baby," said Ashlee Cabrera with the Fetal Infant Mortality Review Team, "So a safe crib is going to look just like that. Just the crib and just baby."

Cabrera says being new parents is tough, and it's easy to let the sleep deprivation get the best of you but she says the risk a parent takes when they pull their baby into bed with them- isn't worth the chance.

"It is instinctual to want the baby to be close and to want to bed share but it is just not safe,” said Cabrera.

"Almost every single one of them are preventable. They are just tragic accidents," said Kraft.

The Tulsa Health Department and Tulsa Police say safe sleep education is key. The Tulsa Health Department says they are looking into making sure safe sleep education is taught at the same standard, at every hospital.