Data shows co-sleeping as leading cause of death in children under 9 in Jefferson Co.

FOX6 News Now at 11
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 1:58 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Co-sleeping is when a child, normally an infant, and an adult fall asleep on the same surface together such as a bed or couch.

The Statistical Data Report by the Jefferson County Coroner shows co-sleeping as the leading cause of death in the county for children under the age of 9 over the last 10 years.

Dr. Wahib Mena with Brookwood Baptist Medical Center said doctors do not recommend co-sleeping because of the possibility of accidental suffocation. He said normally when co-sleeping happens, it’s not intentional.

“Especially in those first few weeks after delivery, when moms are taking medications because of a lot of pain, they take pain medications and it makes them sleepy. In those cases that can happen,” said Dr. Mena.

While it isn’t always fatal, it can cause other complications such as fractured limbs.

“Babies have had fractured arms, fractured limbs because of the weight of a person rolling over. Or even not even rolling over on them but reaching over to roll over and pressing their little arms and they can have accidental trauma.”

Dr. Mena also does not recommend sleeping with your child at any age because it can create co-dependency. The best way for your child to develop independence is to let them sleep in their own beds.

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