Mums and dads, by now you are surely aware that putting babies to sleep on their backs is still the safest. But do your co-caregivers — helpers and relatives —know this, too? Yet another heartbreaking case of a baby found dead in cot stresses the importance of sleep safety measures.
Baby found dead in cot after being put to sleep face down by a babysitter
10-month-old baby boy Mikhael Sufyan Muhammad Syafiq lost his life after a babysitter put him to sleep on his tummy.
According to the New Straits Times, the baby boy was found lifeless inside a spring cot cradle.
“I broke down when I saw his face and body had turned blue. My mother’s instincts told me he was gone,” lamented the baby’s 27-year-old mum Nur Syazwanie Mustaffa to NST.
The mum of two went to recall how the 50-something babysitter called to tell her about the incident.
According to the babysitter, she put the baby to sleep face down after bathing him. After leaving him there for 30 minutes, she went in to check on him. But he was already gone.
The baby boy’s big sister was also in the care of the babysitter along with two other kids.
They rushed the baby to Sungai Buloh Hospital emergency unit, where a doctor pronounced him dead.
“At home, Mikhael sleeps on his side or face down, but we do not use a cradle,” clarified the heartbroken mum to NST, saying that the babysitter insisted she bring a cradle, but she refused.
Mum of baby found dead in cot warned the babysitter her child had the flu
The mum-of-two brought her kids to the babysitter since no one could care for them while she and her husband were at work.
“I was willing to travel 20 kilometres to her house as we believed she was capable of taking care of my children,” confided the mum.
Before leaving her kids in her care, the mum told the babsysitter that her youngest had come down with the flu.
As of this writing, authorities have classified the case as sudden infant death, noting how the baby died due to mucus in his lungs. An investigation is still ongoing.
Sleep safety measures you should tell your child’s caregivers about
Before babies reach the age of one, they are at risk of sudden unexplained death in their sleep. This is because they still lack the ability to roll onto their backs if they roll face down in their sleep.
All of your child’s caregivers SHOULD be aware of this risk. It is important to create the safest sleep environment possible.
Here are some of the most important reminders:
1. Clear sleeping areas of soft materials and objects
Make sure the baby’s crib or bassinet is clear of blankets, soft pillows, or stuffed toys. These are all hazards not everyone knows about.
That’s not all caregivers need to be mindful of. Baby sheets and blankets can be strangulation hazards if you’re not careful. Always make sure to put babies to sleep on firm, flat surfaces with no creases.
2. Choose proper sleep attire
Just recently, a three-year-old choked on her own onesie as she slept. Thankfully, she survived. But imagine what would have happened if this incident involved a baby who still has underdeveloped motor functions.
In another case, a four-month-old baby was suffocated to death by her own swaddle.
Instances like these show how important it is to not dress kids in loose clothing, or wrap them in large fabrics. Choking can happen at any time, not just mealtimes.
3. Clear the area of unexpected hazards
Even seemingly harmless crib accessories like mobiles and lamps can pose dangers. A 16-month-old was once strangled to death in his crib after he tugged on a wall-mounted lamp.
Remember mums and dads, being vigilant about safety means making sure everyone else takes it as seriously as you do!
How do you create the safest sleeping environment for your child? Let us know in the comments below!