COLUMBIA - New parents often have questions, such as how they should put their infant to sleep. While some may want to cuddle with their newborn, sleeping in the same bed as them can lead to problems.
A teen in St. Joseph was sentenced to five years of supervised probation after her infant died while she was sleeping with it, The Associated Press reported on Tuesday.
Kyla Watson was sentenced for her part in endangering the welfare of a child on June 1. Watson admitted she used Xanax and marijuana before falling asleep with her infant in the same bed.
A child services investigator said the department had investigated Watson and the child's father three times previously. Each time, Watson was taught "safe sleeping."
Safe sleeping is a concept that parents should not share a bed with their child. It's a practiced being taught at several places in Columbia.
Safe sleep is broken down into the "ABCs of Safe Sleep."
A, the baby should sleep alone "because of the dangers of someone rolling over and not noticing there's a baby," Prevo said.
B, babies should sleep on their back to reduce the risk of suffocation.
C, the baby should be sleeping in a crib with a very firm mattress.
Paul Prevo, owner of Tiger Tots Child Development Center, said all of his teachers are trained in safe sleep practices.
Prevo said the teachers at Tiger Tots share information about the ABC's giving parents a sense of comfort that what they are doing is right.
"We speak with parents often, especially when it comes to our infant parents, a lot of them are first time parents," Prevo said.
Prevo also pointed out several other places in Columbia offer safe sleep education, including pediatricians, nurse practitioners and organizations like First Chance for Children.
"They literally have 'Baby You' which is an opportunity for parents to come in and learn about safe practices with kids," Prevo said.
Whichever way new parents choose to learn about safe sleep, Prevo just hopes people spread the word.
"It's really easy to spread the news, the ABCs of safe sleep," Prevo said.