State unveils campaign to warn parents about risks of co-sleeping

NEW CAMPAIGN WARNS OF CO-SLEEPING DANGERS

AUSTIN, Texas -- Claudia Enriquez of Fort Worth is a brand-new mom. Her baby Evan is just six weeks old, and even before he was born, she knew she would cherish every moment together.

"I did want him sleeping with me, that's for sure," she said.

But she opted instead for a different set-up: a bassinet, directly next to her bed.

"I like it because we don't have to worry about rolling over on him or him falling off the bed or getting underneath the covers and suffocating," Enriquez explains.

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According to Marissa Gonzales of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Enriquez's worries are real.

"The heavy blankets can overwhelm them. They can overheat," Gonzales explained. "Last year there were 158 deaths of infants [in which] sleeping with an adult or sleeping with an older sibling was indicated.

There have been 54 such deaths in the last five months alone, she added.

Nine of those babies who've died in recent months were in Tarrant County. Nine were in Dallas County, too.

So next week, you'll start to see a commercial on the airwaves that lays out the ways doctors recommend babies sleep to prevent accidental death: no blankets, no pillows, no stuffed animals, and their own bed.

"Babies should always sleep alone," the commercial says.

There are plenty of families who believe in co-sleeping. Fort Worth mom Carmela Serrano told News 8 on Facebook that co-sleeping gave her peace of mind and made breastfeeding easier.

Gonzales said the campaign simply aims to educate parents on the risks, acknowledging parents are making the best decisions they can.

"That makes me feel relieved, that he's here and not in bed with me," Enriquez said of her newborn.

Sleeping better, knowing his sleep is safe.

Don’t see the commercial above? View it here. For information on safe sleeping from Cook Children's Hospital, go here.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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