35 children who have died since December were being monitored by the state’s child protection agency. Six of them passed away from adults accidentally smothering them while sleeping in the same bed. Co-sleeping is common among new parents adjusting to the demands of a newborn.
Melissa Carter, Executive Director, of Emory’s Barton Child Law and Policy Center says most parents don’t realize the high risk factors:
“ There’s a lot of public education that needs to happen about children not sleeping with their parents…not sleeping with a lot of soft bedding, which may seem like the right thing to do, you want your child to be soft and warm with fluffy things but that actually presents a risk to them.”
As the former state appointed Child Advocate, Carter says sleep-related child deaths are a bigger problem than maltreatment-related deaths in Georgia.