The devastating deaths of three babies have prompted a policeman to warn parents about the dangers of co-sleeping.
Senior sergeant Grant Ralston, stationed in Queensland, has been summoned to three homes in Logan this year where babies’ deaths have been linked to co-sleeping, as reported in the Courier Mail.
“When we’ve investigated the deaths as Sudden Unexpected Death in Infants, it’s been a scenario where the child’s been asleep in the common or main bed,” the Logan Child Protection and Investigation Unit officer said.
There is No Law Yet
“There’s no law out there, there’s nothing in legislation to say you can’t sleep with your infant. But we just want parents to be aware that there are some dangers.”
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Mum Jennifer Yardley shares her pain of losing a child this way.
Dylan Nicholls, her 15-week-old infant boy sadly passed away next to her on in August 2013 after they had fallen asleep together in her bed.
“We had coslept since birth … he wasn’t rolling yet so I wasn’t worried about him falling off,” she told the Courier Mail.
“I sat up and turned towards him and my whole world came crashing down around me. All I could see was his beautiful brown hair, he was face down.”
Since Dylan’s tragic death, Ms Yardley has been actively fundraising and raising awareness about the importance of safe sleeping.
“I don’t recommend it,” she said. It can be risky.
New Parents Are Warned About Safe Sleeping
Logan Hospital’s midwives routinely warn mothers about the dangers of co-sleeping with their baby, said Nurse unit manager of maternity Margaret Wendt.
“QLD Health recommends that mothers do not bed share with their babies. This is because of the increased risk of SUDI (Sudden unexpected death in infancy),” she said.
“The biggest message with all of this is really not bed sharing if you smoke, if you drink alcohol or use drugs because those exponentially increase the risk to those babies.”
She said while some people believe sharing a bed with their baby can increase breast feeding rates, she said “there is no evidence to suggest that”.
“Exclusive breast feeding rates certainly can still be met by having babies in their own safe sleeping space,” she said.
Queensland Police Service is also sending out a safe sleeping message with pamphlets being distributed by officers at Logan Hospital to help get the word out.
“The last thing we want is another child death, we don’t want families to go through that,” Sergeant Ralston said.
“If we prevent just one, we’ve done something.”