Sheriff: Pontiac baby dies in tragic sleep-related death

(Gillian Trudeau)
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 4:32 PM EDT
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OAKLAND CO., Mich. (WNEM) – A baby died after she stopped breathing while sleeping in the same bed as her father, the Oakland County Sheriff said.

Sheriff Michael Bouchard reported that the sleep-related death serves as a tragic reminder of what can happen when adults sleep in the same bed as an infant.

Bouchard said that on Thursday, March 23 about 3 p.m., deputies were dispatched to a residence in Pontiac on the report of an infant not breathing.

The mother was rushing to the hospital with her baby before deputies arrived, but when she saw the patrol car, she ran to the deputy with the baby in her arms, Bouchard said.

Bouchard said the Waterford Regional Fire Captain took the baby and performed CPR in the front seat of the squad car as the deputy drove to the hospital.

According to Bouchard, attempts to resuscitate the baby were unsuccessful, and she died a short time later.

Bouchard reported that the baby had been sleeping in the same bed as her father when she stopped breathing. He said the results of the autopsy are pending, but there were no signs of foul play.

Bouchard said that according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, about 3,500 infants in the United State die from sleep-related deaths.

He said it is estimated that half of those deaths are the result of unsafe sleeping conditions for infants, such as soft bedding, sharing beds, or sleeping in accident-prone positions. Bouchard said that following safe sleep guidelines could prevent such tragedies and providing a crib to a family who needs one could save their baby’s life.

“Sadly, we have seen far too many of these tragedies,” Bouchard said. “It’s a crushing reminder that we need to have infants sleeping in an appropriate environment.”

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and the Oakland County Health Division created the Cops-n-Cribs program in 2015 to provide free cribs to families in need to provide a safe sleeping environment for their children. Click here for more information on that program.

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