Couple Loses Second Child to Co-Sleeping
A 2-month-old baby is dead after the parents allowed him to sleep in their bed with them. But real shocker is—this is their second child to die from the same cause. INSIDE EDITION has the tragic story.
Vanessa and Mark Clark are the parents at the center of a tragic case in which their two-month-old son suffocated after sleeping in their bed.
The mother was just convicted of child endangerment, and the father is now on trial on the same charge.
What makes the case especially troubling is that the couple lost another baby in very similar circumstances just a year before.
"Didn't you know you were endangering your baby's life? This was the second time it had happened," INSIDE EDITION's Diane McInerney asked Vanessa Clark.
First to die was four-month-old Christian, who was sleeping with the couple in their bed in 2009. He never woke up.
Letting an infant sleep in the same bed as the parents is known as co-sleeping. It's a controversial practice due to the risk of accidental suffocation.
After little Christian's death, his parents were actually given pamphlets explaining the dangers of co-sleeping.
One year after baby Christian died, the couple had another son and named him Tristian.
Incredibly, prosecutors say the couple again allowed their baby to sleep with them in their bed.
When Tristian was just two months old, the parents awoke to find him dead too.
"My baby, please, my baby!" said Vanessa in the 911 call.
"What's wrong with your baby?" asked the 911 operator.
"He's not breathing!" said Vanessa.
"How long has he been not breathing, do you know?" asked the operator.
"We just woke up," said Mark.
"Is he cold?" asked the operator.
"Yes, he's cold," replied Mark.
This time the authorities had had enough. They charged the mom and dad with child endangerment.
In Vanessa's mugshot she's sporting glamorous makeup and a broad smile.
At her trial it was alleged she had taken the sleeping medication Xanax the night Tristian died.
She was convicted earlier this month.
Her husband's trial is just getting under way at the court near Houston.
Co-sleeping is such a controversial area, there's a PSA warning of the perils.
And a shocking ad by the Milwaukee Health Department shows a baby sleeping next to a meat cleaver. The headline reads: "Your baby sleeping with you can be just as dangerous."
It advises, "always put your baby to sleep on his back, in a crib."
At Texas Children's Hospital, they even give a safe-sleeping class for new parents, highlighting the dangers of allowing a newborn to share the same bed.
"In Texas alone, we have 168 deaths per year from co-sleeping," said Dr. Joan Shook of Texas Children's Hospital.
Now these parents too have learned the perils of co-sleeping.
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