Police say co-sleeping killed two infants in Roanoke - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Police say co-sleeping killed two infants in Roanoke

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ROANOKE - In the first year of life, babies spend a lot of time sleeping.

However, if you place an infant in the wrong position in a crib or in an adult bed, experts say it can be dangerous.

"I had a personal experience from a family member who had this happen and it's probably one of the most painful types of deaths any parent could go through," Childhood Injury Prevention Specialist Jill Lucas says.

Childhood Injury Prevention Specialist, Jill Lucas, says parents may not realize they are smothering or suffocating a child if they are sleeping next to them.

Lucas says toys and blankets should never be in a crib with a child.

"We unfortunately have medical forensics on thousands of babies who have died every year. We know that babies who are placed in these unsafe environments are going to die," Luca says. "Why would you ever want to take the chance of putting your baby in that situation and having that happen."

We checked and found out the number one reason for infant deaths is putting your child in an unsafe sleep environment.

Child Protective Services actually created a Child Fatality Review Team.

In the Piedmont Region, the research shows from July 1, 2011 to June 30th, 2012, 7 out of the 17 child deaths happened from an adult co-sleeping with a baby in an adult bed.

Safe Sleep Programs:

The Kohl's Infant Safe Sleep program
Call 800-422-8482

SW Virginia Alliance for Safe Babies

Roanoke City Police sent out an infant safety alert Thursday morning. Police have documented two incidents of infant co-sleeping deaths already this year. They say neither incident involved substance abuse. We certainly send our support out to these families, because this is a devastating situation.

Safe Kids Southwest VA Coordinator Jill Lucas says when you co-sleep with your infant, you run the risk of accidentally rolling over and suffocating the child. Lucas says these deaths are always very traumatic, but it can often be preventable with the right education. She says parents should never sleep with an infant, and should NOT keep blankets or stuffed animals with infants in the crib.