There have been a rash of infant deaths In Milwaukee, all related to unsafe sleeping environments. The most recent victim was a 1-month-old girl recently found dead after spending the night sleeping in the same bed with an adult.
The girl was at least the 10th child to die in the area because of an unsafe sleeping environment. Most of those deaths involved suffocation and happened when the child shared a bed with an adult or older sibling. Sleeping in bed with an infant can be dangerous for several reasons:
- Risk of rolling over on top of the infant causing suffocation
- Infant suffocating from soft bed clothing (pillows, comforter, loose sheets)
- Infant suffocating when the head gets stuck between the mattress and the wall
- Infant falling off the bed
In response to the deaths, Milwaukee health officials have released a controversial ad campaign, showing a sleeping baby snuggling up to a kitchen knife with these words: …
The first time I took my friend Julie to a national baby supply/furniture chain store, her eyes glazed over as soon as we walked in. After a few minutes in the packed aisles, with boxes towering from floor to ceiling, stuffed with equipment and toys just for babies, she was ready to leave. “This is overwhelming. How can anyone possibly know what to buy?” she said.
But that confusion was precisely the reason I was invited on this particular shopping excursion. Being a pediatric emergency medicine doctor and mother to a 1-year-old at that time, I knew my way around a baby store. I knew exactly what we were (and weren’t) looking for.
Still, despite our clearly defined mission, like Julie I was slightly overwhelmed by the sheer number of products available. With so many choices for all the things you need/want to buy, how does a new parent begin to choose? Even with my background, I felt a little taken aback by it all. After some searching we eventually found her the perfect crib and I was glad I came along to help; besides picking out a car seat, finding a safe crib is one of the most important pieces of equipment a new parent will buy. Making the right choice is crucial.
To keep cribs safer, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just released its new standards for safe cribs. According to their mandates, all cribs sold after June 28, 2011 must meet these new standards, which include:
- Stopping the manufacture and sale of dangerous, traditional drop-side cribs
- Strengthening mattress supports and crib slats
- Requiring crib hardware to be more durable
- Making safety testing more rigorous. …