Brooke Hunter Cincinnati mom charged with involuntary manslaughter and endangering children after second baby dies co-sleeping death. Controversial practise of co-sleeping under the microscope.
More than a coincidence? An Ohio mother has been indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter and endangering children, after her newborn died as a result of co-sleeping.
It was Brooke Hunter‘s second child to die due to the controversial practice, which involves a parent brings their baby into their bed to sleep with them.
Hunter, 23, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was reportedly co-sleeping with her 6-week-old on the night of June 22, according to the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office.
Hunter’s first child died last year as a result of co-sleeping, with the mom told of the dangers in the wake of her first child’s death according to Amy Clausing, assistant prosecuting attorney.
Since Hunter was previously warned, her second child’s death, a result of co-sleeping, is considered a homicide by prosecutors. There is an active warrant out for Hunter’s arrest as the mom continues to remain at large WXIX-TV reported.
Dangers of co-sleeping with newborns
While co-sleeping remains popular with parents, with studies showing that it the practise can be an important developmental context for encouraging and engaging in sensitive and responsive caregiving and providing a context for maternal-infant physiological synchrony and regulation – it also remains a controversial practise, and going against medical advise – particularly for newborns.
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against bed-sharing, urging: It ‘should be avoided at all times’ with a ‘[full]-term normal-weight infant younger than 4 months.’
The practice can put babies at risk for sleep-related deaths such as sudden infant death syndrome, accidental suffocation and accidental strangulation, according to the organization.
The AAP emphasizes the safest places for a baby to sleep is on a flat surface in crib or basonet on their back, until they are able to safely roll over.
Each year, around 3,400 babies suffer sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID) in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed is one of the three most commonly reported types of SUID.
A staggering 905 deaths were due to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed in 2020, according to the CDC.
In June, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its guidelines for safe sleeping with infants and toddlers after multiple suffocation fatalities were linked to recalled Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Rock ‘n Glide Soothers.
‘The AAP understands and respects that many parents choose to routinely bed share for a variety of reasons, including facilitation of breastfeeding, cultural preferences, and a belief that it is better and safer for their infant,’ the AAP stated. ‘However, on the basis of the evidence, the AAP is unable to recommend bed sharing under any circumstances.’
President Joe Biden in May signed the Safe Sleep Act for Babies banning the manufacture, sale and distribution of inclined baby sleep devices and crib bumpers, which have been linked to infant deaths.