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Sheriff: Infant dies in sleep-related incident in Pontiac

PONTIAC, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - An infant has died in a sleep-related death Thursday in Pontiac, according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies were called to a home shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday for a baby not breathing. 

"Before arriving at the residence, deputies learned the mother was rushing the baby to the hospital. The mother, who saw the patrol vehicle, got out of her car, and ran to the deputy with the baby in her arms," the sheriff's office said in a press release.

Authorities say the Waterford Regional Fire Department captain at the scene attempted CPR as the deputy drove to the hospital. However, the baby died a short time later.

The sheriff's office an autopsy was being performed for the baby, who was sleeping in the same bed as her father.

"Sadly, we have seen far too many of these tragedies," Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a statement. "It's a crushing reminder that we need to have infants sleeping in an appropriate environment."  

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, about 3,500 infants a year die in the United States from sleep-related deaths.

Experts provide a guidance for safe sleep and bed-sharing:

  • Parents should never sleep with a baby if they use drugs, drink, or smoke.
  • Babies born premature or underweight should not sleep in the parental bed.
  • Babies should never sleep on recliners, chairs, couches, sofas, or water beds.
  • Babies who aren't breastfed have an increased risk of SIDS; breastfeeding keeps babies and mothers in a lighter stage of sleep, which promotes a greater awareness of what the other is doing.
  • Regardless of where the infant sleeps, always place an infant on its back to sleep.
  • Toddlers or older children should not sleep next to infants.
  • Use light sleep clothes and light blankets. Keep pillows and any item that could obstruct breathing away from infants.
  • Sleep on a firm mattress that is on the floor.
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