Infant Deaths Lead to Sleep Warning

Mar 1, 2011

The Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating five infant deaths that have occurred in the past two weeks. Three of those deaths occurred while the child was sleeping with their parents in an adult bed. The other two deaths happened on what investigators call "unconventional sleep surfaces," like large pillow, couches or air mattresses.

Officials want to make sure parents know the ABC's of creating a safe sleeping environment for a child.

“A, always place your baby alone." said Forensic Nurse Leanne Courtney of the Medical Examiner's Office.  "B, on the baby’s back inside C, the crib, with the dangers eliminated. That’s the D and E.”

Some of the dangers include sleeping with stuffed toys, pillows, quilts, comforters, blankets and bumper pads. In addition to following these guidelines, Courtney says that parents should invest in safety-approved beds for their infants and toddlers.  The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is distributing a video that helps parents understand the potential dangers of an unsafe sleeping environment for infants and small toddlers.