Editorials

Baby is safe on her back in a crib, not parents’ bed

Columbia Police Chief Joe Edwards commands the task force that investigates child deaths in Southern Illinois. Many baby deaths can be prevented by if a baby sleeps alone, on its back and in a safe crib.
Columbia Police Chief Joe Edwards commands the task force that investigates child deaths in Southern Illinois. Many baby deaths can be prevented by if a baby sleeps alone, on its back and in a safe crib. tvizer@bnd.com

There are few people as sleep-deprived as new parents, so the temptation to settle a crying baby by bringing it into bed with you is totally understandable.

But it is so very, horribly wrong.

There were 127 infants who died during four years in Southern Illinois. Sleeping with the child was a factor in 81 percent of the cases.

Columbia Police Chief Joe Edwards said he believes the number is even greater because police and health workers are not uniformly reporting the infant deaths to the state as required. He pushed getting babies out of their parents’ beds this week because October is Safe Sleep Awareness Month.

These deaths are so very preventable. Edwards touted the ABCs of safe sleep, saying babies should sleep Alone, on their Back and in a safe Crib.

If you or someone you know has experienced a miscarriage or death of their baby, you know the lifelong wound and longing it leaves. Imagine compounding that with the guilt that you contributed to your baby’s death.

Losing sleep is a temporary condition.

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