I would like to comment on the July 8 article, "Doctor defends parents sharing beds with infants." It cites an anthropologist from the University of Notre Dame who supports parental bed-sharing with infants.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome has shown a remarkable decline simply from promoting changes in the baby's sleep environment. The incidence quickly dropped by about 50 percent when we began recommending placing your infant on his/her back for sleeping.
Placing an infant in a sleep environment free of soft, fluffy bedding and pillows decreases the death rate still further. Small infants many times are not strong enough to lift their heads out of a dangerous position, causing them to suffocate.
All of these dangers are present on adult beds, as well as an adult who poses a risk of causing a roll-over suffocation.
As a pediatrician for almost 30 years, I would like to point out that we do many things for our children because they have been proven to save or improve our children's lives, even if they may cause us some inconvenience.
We buckle them snugly in car seats, make them wear bike helmets and get them fully immunized against deadly illnesses. We don't smoke in the house or car. We get them swimming lessons. The list goes on.
Having your infant sleep on his/her back on a flat surface free of pillows and heavy bedding in a bassinet or crib adjacent to your bed seems a much smarter and safer option.
Timothy E. Keane