ICAN Statement on the Hazards of Unsafe Sleeping and Bed-Sharing With Infants

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - Mar 13, 2012) - The Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN) and the Infant Safe Sleeping Task Force of Los Angeles County are encouraged by recent attention in the media on infant care, the benefits of breast-feeding and the importance of bonding with your child. However, the often unrecognized hazards of bed-sharing with an infant need to be made as clear to parents of children under age 1 year.

In the past two years, 139 babies in Los Angeles County have died from bed-sharing or unsafe sleeping arrangements, such as pillows, bumpers or toys in a crib. The majority of these infants were less than 6 months old and sharing a bed with an adult. These are staggering, unacceptable statistics for a cause of death that is 100 percent preventable. There is no scientific evidence that bed-sharing is safe, but there is evidence that it increases the risk of sudden infant deaths and the chance that a baby will suffocate.

Every infant bed-sharing death is an unintentional tragedy that loving parents desperately wish they could somehow reverse. Prevent sudden infant deaths and other infant deaths by sleeping in the same room -- NOT in the same bed -- until after a baby's first birthday.

Deanne Tilton Durfee
Sylvia Drew Ivie

Los Angeles County Infant Safe Sleeping Task Force

Contact Information:

Chantal Allan