Dangers of co-sleeping with your baby?

co-sleepingSavannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department recently held a news conference to discuss the dangers of co-sleeping and increasing incidents of infant overlay. Infant overlay – a preventable death – occurs when an infant child dies as a result of the suffocation resulting from co-sleeping with adults or older children.

Child overlay is a national problem that has become more frequent in the Savannah-Chatham area. Metro Police is teaming up with local professionals to inform and educate the community in preventative measures to prevent these types of deaths.

As early as 1999, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned parents and caregivers about the dangers of placing babies to sleep in adult beds.

A CPSC study published in the October 2000 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that placing babies to sleep in adult beds puts them at risk of suffocation or strangulation.

This is a danger of which many parents and caregivers are unaware. The study revealed an average 64 deaths per year to babies under the age of 2 years placed to sleep in adult beds, including waterbeds and daybeds. A review of incident data from January 1990 to December 1997 linked adult beds to at least 515 baby deaths.

Would appreciate hearing what SouthernMamas readers have to say about the issue of co-sleeping with infants. There are obviously benefits to co-sleeping not addressed here. Do the benefits outweigh the risks? Certainly, sleeping products are available to make co-sleeping safer. What’s your take?

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