Milwaukee Anti-SIDS PSA Bares Shocking Image

In the wake of a spate of infant deaths among those who were “co-sleeping” in a bed next to their parents, Milwaukee officials have launched an aggressive ad campaign designed to shock parents into heeding safe sleep recommendations.

Nine infants have died in the city this year, the latest just 7 weeks old, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The ad the city unveiled depicts an infant in a bed next to a large butcher knife, alongside a caption that reads, “Your baby sleeping with you can be just as dangerous.”  The city has set a goal of reducing the infant death rate to an historic low by 2017, including eliminating racial disparities in the death rate.

From the Journal Sentinel:

“We as adults who love babies love the thought of a baby in bed,” [Milwaukee Mayor Tom] Barrett said.

“Cuddling a baby is very nurturing,” he said.

But if it takes a raw message to get the point across that babies must sleep alone, on their backs, in their own cribs, the ad is not too shocking, the mayor said.

“Co-sleeping deaths are the most preventable form of infant death in this community,” Barrett said.

“Is it shocking? Is it provocative?” asked Baker, the health commissioner.

“Yes. But what is even more shocking and provocative is that 30 developed and underdeveloped countries have better (infant death) rates than Milwaukee.”

(image via:

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  1. by Natalie

    On November 19, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    What a horrible ad! There are so many other factors in looking at why those infants died. My questions are, did those families have smokers in the home? Was a parent intoxicated while sleeping with the infant? That would attribute to an increase in SIDS and a parent not being fully aware of a given situation. Maybe it’s an indication of what’s really going on in a community. A further study should look at that instead of blaming cosleeping.

  2. by Ebony

    On November 20, 2011 at 7:54 am


    I can understand the things you are pointing out, but as a Public Health major with only one semester of school left before I graduate I can say there are extensive studies that have been conducted in regards to co-sleeping and the saftey issues. I am also a mother of one child and an aunt of twenty children, one of my nieces died due to co-sleeping, she was actually smoothered by the covers her parents slept under even though she was in a co-sleeper. Co-sleeping is risky even though not all babies die from it, but is this realy worth the risk? My baby has his own crib. If he has to be close to me I have a Pack-N-Play that I set up next to my bed. I never lt him sleep in the bed with me.

  3. by Amanda

    On November 20, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Babies die in cribs too. Maybe we should show pictures of dead babies in cribs too and encourage people to never ever sleep until their baby is too old to die of SIDS.

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