Mayor doesn't want another phone call for a co-sleeping death, eyes education

Milwaukee -- Mayor Tom Barrett doesn't want to get another call saying a Milwaukee baby died in a co-sleeping environment.  That's why he's talking to local churches trying to ensure parents realize how they're baby sleeps can be the difference between life and death.

\"These cosleeping deaths are by far the most preventable,\" Mayor Barrett said Sunday.

Barrett wants to reduce Milwaukee's infant mortality rate 10 percent by 2017.   He says one way to do it is educating parents about cosleeping dangers.  There's been more than 10 infant deaths in Milwaukee this year.

\"We feel the message is really, really important and we're putting a lot of effort in trying to get that message out there.\"

The Mayor stopped at three local churches Sunday to demostrate the A-B-C's of sleeping. 

\"Alone, on their back, in a crib, in a smoke free environment.\"

Adia Griffin has a one month old.  She's concerned about the infant deaths through Milwaukee .  She knows the mayor's message.

\"I feel like it's important to have them in their crib on their back and just following all the rules so they can stay alive,\" Griffin said.

Not everyone thinks the mayor's message is worthwhile.  Alderman Bob Donovan thinks the A-B-C's message is common sense - the real problem is parenting.

\"Hold people accountable for their irresponsible behavior.\"

The Alderman points to some co-sleeping deaths that involved intoxicated parents.

\"Reality is, sadly, when you're drunk or high, you really don't give a damn about those kinds of things.\"

Earlier this week Mayor Barrett and firefighters went door-to-door giving out flyers to parents about safe sleeping.  The Alderman questions that move as well.

\"I would venture to say those flyers are blowing down the damn street and probably accumulating at one of the vacant lots.\"

Mayor Barrett didn't put much stock in Donovan's comments.  He  says no laws need to be changed and he trusts the district attorney in these cases.

\"If criminal charges are warranted I'm going to support the district attorney to issue those charges. I'm putting my focus on trying to educate people that this is something that has to be done.\"

The Mayor says unsafe sleeping conditions make up almost 20 percent of infant deaths in Milwaukee.

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