PONTIAC, Mich. – An infant died on Thursday after sleeping in the same bed as their parent.
Police officials were called to a house in Pontiac Thursday afternoon after a baby was found by their mother unresponsive. The child’s mother left her home after making the report to the police and began to take her child to the hospital. Deputies stopped the mother before arriving at a local hospital. The Waterford Regional Fire Department captain began to perform CPR in a squad car’s front seat as a deputy finished up the trip to a nearby hospital.
Unfortunately, the first responder’s attempts were unsuccessful, and the baby died later that afternoon.
An autopsy has been performed on the baby, and officials are waiting for a cause of death. Oakland County Sheriff’s Office reported that there were no signs of foul play.
Police officials say the baby was sleeping in the same bed as her father before the mother found the child. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, about 3,500 infants in the United States die from sleep-related deaths.
“Sadly, we have seen far too many of these tragedies,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “It’s a crushing reminder that we need to have infants sleeping in an appropriate environment.”
Below are some essential tips from Oakland County officials for safe sleep and bed-sharing with a child:
- Parents should never sleep with a baby if they use drugs, drink, or smoke.
- Babies born premature or underweight should not sleep in the parental bed.
- Babies should never sleep on recliners, chairs, couches, sofas, or water beds.
- Babies who aren’t breastfed have an increased risk of SIDS; breastfeeding keeps babies and mothers in a lighter stage of sleep, which promotes a greater awareness of what the other is doing.
- Regardless of where the infant sleeps, always place the infant on its back to sleep.
- Toddlers or older children should not sleep next to infants.
- Use light sleep clothes and light blankets. Keep pillows and any item that could obstruct breathing away from infants.
- Sleep on a firm mattress that is on the floor.
For those in Oakland County in need of a crib, the Oakland County Health Division started a Cops-N-Cribs program to provide free and portable cribs.