DeRosier's story is unquestionably tragic, and unfortunately, similar stories happen all the time.
Emily Silver, a Family Nurse Practitioner and co-owner of Boston NAPS, told FamilyShare she is passionate about spreading safe infant sleep practices because she lost her sister to SIDS (Sudden Infant Deaths Syndrome) in her childhood.
"To keep the crib and bassinet area safe, we teach parents that the mattress should be firm with a fitted sheet only," Silver says. There should be no bumpers, loose blankets, or stuffed animals within the crib, that could increase the risk of SIDS or suffocation."
It seems natural to put a baby to sleep with a blanket, toy or stuffed animal. But seemingly harmless objects such as these can easily become choking and suffocating objects.
"Practice the ABCs of safe sleep," said Tyler Killette, who works for an awareness campaign called Prevent Needless Deaths. "The safest way for infants to sleep is Alone on their Backs in a Crib. This minimizes the risk of the infant suffocating, especially if they have not yet developed neck muscle control."
Caitlin Hoff, a health investigator from Consumer Safety, told FamilyShare that she always recommends parents never share beds with their infants.
"While it is recommended to keep your infant's crib in your bedroom with you, sleeping in the same bed as your infant or napping with your baby on a couch or chair are extremely dangerous actions," Hoff says. "A sleeping parent can easily smother the infant by accident simply by rolling over in his or her sleep."
She also suggests mothers try to avoid breastfeeding when they're very tired, because they're at risk for falling asleep while holding their infant.
"As a general rule of thumb, always return your sleeping infant to its crib." Hoff said.