It might seem odd for a parish coroner to be taking a position on where a baby should sleep, but for St. Tammany Parish Coroner Charles Preston, it’s a matter of life and death.
On Thursday, Preston unveiled a public service announcement he has sent to all New Orleans broadcast outlets, urging parents to let their babies sleep in cribs.
The campaign is a result of a rash of “co-sleeping” deaths in St. Tammany Parish over the past 15 months, Preston said.
“We’ve seen five co-sleeping deaths, where the parents suffocated or crushed their children while sharing a bed,” Preston said. The deaths could easily have been prevented, he said.
The public service announcement shows a woman asleep on her bed in a room with a crib and children’s toys littered about. A lullaby plays, and when the woman turns over, a baby is revealed beneath her. A voice-over encourages parents to place their infants “alone in their crib” to sleep.
The spot was originally produced for the Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office, which agreed to allow Preston’s office to use it.