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Experts advise parents against co-sleeping with infants

Published On: Jan 28 2013 04:23:31 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 28 2013 07:08:32 PM CST

Experts warn parents against sleeping in bed with infants

Law enforcement and health care experts are warning parents to not sleep with their babies.

"When parents sleep with children, they don't realize that they could be putting their children in a dangerous situation," said Sallie Duncan, a trauma outreach and injury prevention specialist for Memorial Hospital.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has launched a new initiative, "Safe to Sleep," to educate parents and child organizations about the risk factors of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of infant death.

"These deaths are very unfortunate because parents are sleeping with children out of love, and out of bonding, and when they die it is catastrophic to these families,"said Duncan.

Duncan said there are common risk factors in many of the infant deaths in Colorado, including parents who smoke, co-sleeping and poor sleeping environments.

"An ideal sleeping arrangement would be a baby sleeping in a crib on their back with no bumpers, no blankets, and no toys, right next to the parents' bed, for up to a year old. Not in the bed with the parents," said Duncan.

Parents also want to avoid couches, chairs and other soft surfaces that could potentially suffocate a baby, said Duncan.

"If their child's face gets near, just near a surface, they can die because they are re-breathing their own air," said Duncan.

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