Cleveland County saw three deaths from sudden infant death syndrome

Every year, more than 3,000 babies succumb to sudden infant death syndrome, according to the Center for Disease Control.

In July, Cleveland County saw three deaths from or related to SIDS. That sent shockwaves through Greg Grier, program administrator of Child Welfare and Adult Services, who said it is imperative parents take the grisly disorder seriously. In light of SIDS Awareness Month, Grier is asking parents of newborns to take preventative measures to prevent SIDS from happening, saying two of the deaths were considered to be co-sleep, which happens when parents put the newborn in an unsafe sleep environment.

“This is one of the topics people don’t like to talk about,” said Grier. “But this can be preventable. The best practice is for kids to be in a separate sleeping area.”

Cleveland County saw three deaths from sudden infant death syndrome

Grier said multiple factors can lead to SIDS, including a baby’s failure to thrive or underlying health conditions. But parents should take co-sleep serious as the CDC recommends babies share a room with their parent, but not the same bed.

Grier said even one death is one too many and stressed the importance of parents taking the time to become more knowledgeable about the consequences of co-sleep.