NYS report: Increase in infant deaths caused by sharing bed with parent

Local News

Infant deaths from sharing a bed with a parent are on the rise across New York State.

New reports just released reveal that nearly half of all fatalities of a child under 12 months old were because of an unsafe sleep environment, according to the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS).

As the number of babies dying due to being in an unsafe environment are up — the safe sleeping reminders are continuously reinforced by several groups.

In a 2017 year-end report from OCFS — 85 babies died due to being in an unsafe sleep environment — up from 60 in the previous report.

Bed-sharing with a sleeping baby could lead to suffocation of the infant, the baby could become stuck in a bed frame or head board or fall off the bed causing serious injury or death.

Between 2015 and 2017, a total of 230 babies died in an unsafe sleep space with 141 reported deaths happening in an adult bed. Twenty-eight of the deaths happened while babies were asleep on a couch.

The report reaffirms the dangers of sharing a bed with a baby while they’re asleep.

Several groups such as the Chemung County Child Advocacy Center says the safest place for a baby to sleep is on their back in their own bassinet or crib placed close to your bed. Keep soft bedding such as blankets, pillows, bumper pads, and soft toys out of the baby’s sleep area.

“It’s really sad to review these cases in our child fatality review team because you have these loving parents who are doting over their child and think they’re doing what’s best…wrapping them up in blankets because they have a cold or snuggling with them because you want to cuddle your child and have that relationship and that bond with your child, but it’s really important from day one to practice those safe sleep habits because once you get into the pattern of doing it you’re more likely to do it,” Chemung County Child Advocacy Center Coordinator Dina O’ Herron said.

If you are a parent in need of a free pack and play, the Chemung County Child Advocacy Center may be able to help. Call the center at 607-737-8449 for more information. 

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