After discovering her 7-month-old son had died in his crib, a Washington state mother is speaking out.
Earlier this month, on July 3, mother Jordan DeRosier put her boy, Sloan, in his crib along with a blanket made by his great-grandmother and another blanket. DeRosier said the boy somehow then pulled the blanket through the crib rails and accidentally suffocated.
“I have a lot of guilt,” DeRosier told People magazine. “What could I have done better? Could I have saved him? I will never be able to shake the feeling that there was something more I could have done to prevent his death.” She added that the boy was found in the morning with purple skin and blue lips.
She wants other mothers to know about hazards posed by blankets in cribs.
“That’s really the only thing giving us comfort right now,” she told the publication. “We’ve gotten thousands of messages from parents saying that after reading about our story, they took blankets out of cribs.”
Last week, in a now-private Facebook post, DeRosier explained more of what happened to her child.
“They took the grey one he had been found with his head in,” she wrote. “He had pulled it through the crib rails somehow and gotten himself stuck in it. You never think it will happen to you. You never think it will be your baby. Please do not put your babies to bed with a blanket. Please. He was 7 months old, I thought because he was crawling, standing on his own, and climbing, that he would be fine with a blanket.”
A fund has been started to help the family with funeral and other costs.
Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics said that some 3,500 infants die each year due to sleep-related deaths, which include “sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS); ill-defined deaths; and accidental suffocation and strangulation.” That figure represents a decrease from the 1990s “but has plateaued in recent years,” the organization said.
It listed a few recommendations:
-Place the baby on his or her back on a firm sleep surface such as a crib or bassinet with a tight-fitting sheet.
-Avoid use of soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys. The crib should be bare.
-Share a bedroom with parents, but not the same sleeping surface, preferably until the baby turns 1 but at least for the first six months. Room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent.
-Avoid baby’s exposure to smoke, alcohol and illicit drugs.
The AAP also recommends “no pillows, sheets, blankets or other items that could obstruct the infant’s breathing or cause overheating.”
And other tips include:
-Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
-Do not use home monitors or commercial devices, including wedges or positioners, marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.
-Infants should receive all recommended vaccinations.
-Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development.