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Increase in Infant Suffocation Deaths Renews Debate on Bed Sharing with Parents – Dangers to Infants

By Benjamin A. Klopman, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


In Washington D.C. and other areas, infant deaths from accidental strangulation and suffocation rose over a twenty year period between 1984 and 2004. These deaths resulted from a parent, adult or another child accidentally strangulating or suffocating the infant while sleeping in the same bed or area with the infant. Some families have the infant in bed because there are no other beds in the home for the infant or parent. Others do it out of habit, culture or tradition. Whatever the reason, many infants are the unfortunate victims of strangulation and suffocation incidents that can be easily avoided. You can read more about this study at Suffocation / Strangulation Deaths on the Rise According to Medical Study.

The rise in deaths have taken place in major metropolitan areas like Washington, D.C. According to the study, the risk for these accidental strangulation / suffocation deaths is highest in African American communities. Rachel Moon of the Children’s National Medical Center serves as a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. Moon states that these deaths have been on the rise and parents and others should be “worried” about the trend and statistics.

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