Bedtime danger warning

Thursday, February 12th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Four babies have died in Tulsa in the past month. All of them were in bed with their parents. So Tulsa child crisis detectives have a warning about bedtime dangers.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright says babies are such a treasure and parents want to bond with them and hold them close, even while sleeping sometimes. But detectives and many pediatricians say that can be a recipe for disaster. Sgt Whitney Allen with the Child Crisis Unit: "These are tragic deaths, parents doing nothing wrong, just doing bonding and being a good parent and something tragic came of it and that's why we hope we can help prevent some.”

Some babies in bed with their parents die when their parent rolls over on top of them, in other cases the baby gets face down in the covers and can't breathe and other times, a baby gets wedged between a mattress and headboard.

Pediatricians say parents who insist on sleeping with their babies need to take precautions. Sgt Whitney Allen: "You can't have water beds, pillows comforters and beds have that."

EMSA has issued an alert as well about the recent spike in infant cardiac arrest cases, encouraging parents to put babies to sleep on their backs, avoid excessive blankets and don't pull the blanket higher than the baby's chest.

The fact is more and more parents are finding themselves in the back of an ambulance with an infant who's had cardiac arrest.

200% more babies died in the first six weeks of this year than during the first six weeks of last year.

There is a new co-sleeper bassinet that sits right next to the parent's bed. The side drops so mom can easily breast feed or comfort the baby, yet, the baby is still on a separate, firm mattress and they can both sleep comfortably and close without risking a tragic death.

This is not a new problem, Tulsa Police records show of the 42 children who died in Tulsa in the past two years, 13 or nearly a third of them, died while in their parents' bed.

For information on the subject, check out the American Academy of Pediatrics website.