The parents of little Colton, who was 6 months old at the time, were visiting a friend when their son got sleepy. They improvised to let the little one rest and then deeply regretted it.
Colton's mom shared their dramatic story to prevent other families from experiencing such suffering. It's heartbreaking to read, but necessary.
Since there was no baby equipment at their friend's place, Colton's parents laid him down in the middle of the host's large bed, placing pillows all around to prevent falls. Almost all parents have done this before.
The barrier did not work. Colton fell from the bed at a height of 60 cm.
Just after it happened, the little one cried a bit, but it didn't last long. His mother said he was alert and smiling.
However, she knew she wouldn't feel at ease until he was seen by a doctor.
"We were certain they would say he hit his head, had a bump, and would be fine," she said in a Facebook post.
The emergency doctors had a very different diagnosis. "He fractured his skull, resulting in half of his blood volume bleeding into his brain," they told the parents, adding that Colton could die and, if he survived, he would have severe brain damage.
The mom wants parents to be aware of this tragedy to prevent the worst for their own children.
On Facebook, she wrote this:
"Take any head injury seriously. I need you to hear me. Please have your children checked. The old myth that if the bump is on the outside, you are safe is false. That's not true!"
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the United States advise against letting children sleep in an adult bed, whether with someone else or alone.
They say parents should NEVER let a baby sleep alone in an adult bed.
Similarly, Healthline issues this warning:
"Babies should not be placed on adult beds without supervision. In addition to the risk of falling, babies can get trapped between the bed and the wall or bed and another object. Adult beds often do not meet the safe sleep criteria that a child's bed typically has, such as a properly fitted mattress and fitted sheet.
After being discharged from the hospital, Colton depends on a special diet and needs several medications for seizures.
But what do you do when the baby needs a nap and you're away from home?
Whether visiting relatives or spending a day outdoors, nap time can be challenging.
Should we sit and hold the baby throughout their sleep?
It may be better to plan ahead and do a little shopping.
There are many portable beds and products that will help keep the baby safe during outings.
Search on Amazon or Google for "baby travel sleep options", paying attention to user ratings and safety ratings.
Look for lightweight and easy-to-assemble products. If it's too big, heavy, or difficult to assemble, you won't use it.