Shar­ing bed with in­fant can lead to sleep-re­lated death

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY >> While, as you replied to “Sleepy in Cal­i­for­nia” (Sept. 17), some par­ents do “cosleep” with their chil­dren for the first few months, what you were re­fer­ring to is ac­tu­ally “bed shar­ing.” Bed shar­ing was shown in stud­ies sev­eral years ago to be the great­est risk factor for sleep-re­lated deaths in young in­fants less than 4 months of age.

The Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Pe­di­atrics and the March of Dimes have both rec­om­mended (for years!) against bed shar­ing in these young in­fants. In­stead they rec­om­mend that young in­fants sleep in cribs near their par­ents. They should of course be on their backs and should not be sleep­ing with blan­kets or toys.

These deaths, mostly from suf­fo­ca­tion or over­heat­ing, are sad and mostly pre­ventable. The ac­cep­tance of bed shar­ing due to cultural in­flu­ences is dif­fi­cult to over­come. Please help by tak­ing the time to ed­u­cate your read­ers on the dan­gers of bed shar­ing with in­fants.

— C. Smith, M.D, Faap

DEAR DR. SMITH >> I ap­pre­ci­ate your writ­ing to me. Your point is an im­por­tant one, and that I omit­ted it was an over­sight. I hope par­ents of in­fants will take your wise coun­sel to heart.

DEAR ABBY >> My daugh­ter is 29, and we re­cently had a re­spect­ful, al­though heated, dis­cus­sion about pol­i­tics, agen­das and the can­di­dates. It turned out that we dis­agree on ma­jor is­sues, and we both can give chap­ter and verse about why we be­lieve the way we do.

Some­thing came to light, though. She’s not the per­son I thought she was. She in­formed me that she had had an abor­tion. My feel­ings on this is­sue aren’t a judg­ment call. This is a be­lief sys­tem for me, some­thing in­grained in me. If she were a stranger, I would ab­so­lutely not be around her. Know­ing what I do now, I am crushed.

She’s my daugh­ter, and we have al­ways had our dif­fer­ences. But I feel so strongly about what she’s do­ing and has done that I no longer want to be in the same room with her. She has a son I adore with all my heart, and I pro­vide child care for him. I feel bro­ken right now and could re­ally use guid­ance.

— Bro­ken in Illi­nois

DEAR BRO­KEN >> I can only imag­ine how you must have felt to have learned about the abor­tion dur­ing a “heated dis­cus­sion.” How­ever, there is a com­mon mis­con­cep­tion that women who de­cide to ter­mi­nate a preg­nancy do so lightly. They don’t! If you don’t know your daugh­ter’s rea­son for hav­ing hers, it might ben­e­fit both of you to talk calmly about it. You don’t have to ap­prove of her choice, but you should hear what she has to say.

Be­cause you feel bro­ken, this is some­thing you should dis­cuss with your re­li­gious ad­viser and take your cue from him or her. To cut off re­la­tions with your daugh­ter — and by ex­ten­sion your grand­son — would ben­e­fit no one.

DEAR ABBY >> Are you sup­posed to take a gift to an en­gage­ment party? The cou­ple has been liv­ing to­gether. They just got en­gaged and are plan­ning a wed­ding in two years.

— Ana Marie in Texas

DEAR ANA MARIE >> A gift would be a nice ges­ture. It doesn’t have to be lav­ish — a lovely frame for their en­gage­ment pic­ture would be thought­ful, be­cause a wed­ding is now in the pic­ture.

Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

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