BAKERSFIELD, CA - The coroner has determined that a baby who died last October may have died because he was sleeping in bed with his parents. It's a common practice, but something experts warn against.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, the unexplained death of an infant, continues to be an issue in Kern County. Experts say the risk could be reduced by providing a safe sleep environment.
Kern County Department of Public Health's Sudden Infant Death Coordinator, Michelle Curioso, says there are ways to provide a safe sleeping environment for infants. "Remove the stuffed animals and the pillows and blankets out from their cribs," said Curioso. "There's other ways too, have a smoke free environment and also to make sure they baby's head is not covered during nighttime."
Curioso also recommends putting a baby on it's back while it sleeps. She says it's also important to have a safety approved crib with a firm mattress and a fitted sheet.
A total of 41 children died in our county in 2011. Twelve were due to accidental causes, eight were a result of natural causes, eight from homicide, one died from suicide, and 12 others were undetermined.
A local team tasked with reviewing those deaths is trying to piece together if something could have been done to prevent them.