Times have changed

Linda Prince went into the bedroom and found her husband holding their six-week-old son, Rashod.

“He was sobbing, and I knew there was something terribly wrong. Rashod was all blue, or purplish. I took the baby from him and he was all cold and stiff.”

Rashod had died overnight. “My baby suffocated. I thought he would sleep better on his belly. In those days, you brought your baby to bed with you…we didn’t know any better. But now we do.”

Thirty years later, Tom Bowman and Torey Schreiber faced the same nightmare. Tom had fallen asleep with his two daughters, 2-year-old Audrina, and 4-month-old Rylee. When Torey walked into the bedroom and picked Rylee up, she started screaming.

“I had fallen asleep with both of them in my arms and I woke up to Tory screaming that Rylee wasn’t breathing. She was on the phone with 911 and it was shortly after that the ambulance showed up and they were doing CPR on her. They had taken her out of the house and I felt for sure that they’ll bring her back, they’ll bring her back. This can’t happen. It was the worst feeling in the world.

“I always believed, if something’s wrong, I could fix it… This was something I couldn’t fix, I couldn’t even touch her. It’s something that shouldn’t have happened. It was an accident, but it was a preventable accident.

Monroe County Medical Examiner Caroline Dignan says: “If you can prevent a child’s death simply by putting that child to bed in a crib on their back without anything around them to obstruct their breathing, then why not? Why take the chance?”

Unsafe sleep is the leading preventable cause of death in infants under the age of one. Babies should always sleep alone, on their backs, in a crib or bassinet with no pillows, blankets, crib bumpers or toys.

Safe sleep saves babies’ lives!