Friday, September 03, 2010

We can't POSSIBLY inject common sense into lawmaking...

At M-D we are discussing this story:

Is sharing a bed with your infant right or wrong?

Seems a mother in Wisconsin has killed a second infant by getting drunk and rolling over on top of her.  Most of us reading the article see the whole being drunk while caring for a baby thing as the problem, but Wisconsin thinks it's sharing a bed.

(I'm not even touching the issue of formula and co-sleeping.  Boob Nazi or no, I want to go find Jim McKenna and slap him while screaming "Correlation does not equal causation" until he gets the message.)

Co-sleeping (or sleep-sharing) can be done safely (note: although I didn't actually watch the video at the top of the page, what is depicted in the still shot is NOT SAFE CO-SLEEPING--seriously, on a couch with an ass-ton of pillows?).  There's a good article on the overall issue here.  The take-away from that article:

There has been a lot of media claiming that sleeping with your baby in an adult bed is unsafe and can result in accidental smothering of an infant. One popular research study came out in 1999 from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that showed 515 cases of accidental infant deaths occurred in an adult bed over an 8-year period between 1990 and 1997. That's about 65 deaths per year. These deaths were not classified as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), where the cause of death is undetermined. There were actual causes that were verified upon review of the scene and autopsy. Such causes included accidental smothering by an adult, getting trapped between the mattress and headboard or other furniture, and suffocation on a soft waterbed mattress.

The conclusion that the researchers drew from this study was that sleeping with an infant in an adult bed is dangerous and should never be done. This sounds like a reasonable conclusion, until you consider the epidemic of SIDS as a whole. During the 8-year period of this study, about 34,000 total cases of SIDS occurred in the U.S. (around 4250 per year). If 65 cases of non-SIDS accidental death occurred each year in a bed, and about 4250 cases of actual SIDS occurred overall each year, then the number of accidental deaths in an adult bed is only 1.5% of the total cases of SIDS.
I should also note that the concept of co-sleeping is hardly limited to us hippie-fringe AP parents.  To be quite honest, in my chatting with other parents, I haven't run across even one mother whose babies/kids didn't sleep with her at least part of the time.  It is such a common thing, and so mainstream, that back when I had my first child in 2002, how to do so safely was covered in the handouts they gave me at the hospital and the same topic was covered in Your Baby's First Year Week-by-Week.  Heck, my cousin who had a baby at the same time was allowed to co-sleep IN the hospital.

So it's not like there is a group of us out there courting disaster by doing something known to be dangerous.

Hey, kinda sounds like...Like some other set of laws states tend to make that have no basis in common sense.  Like some other area of interest of a lot of the folks on the blog-roll where those on the outside routinely look at things that go wrong and make erroneous assumptions about it as a whole.  Like...Like...

Like gun control.

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