Mom convicted of child endangerment proves dangers of co-sleeping

I have many mom friends who swear by co-sleeping and lots of them have done it successfully. Save a few times that I let my son Santiago sleep with me while he was still breastfeeding, I never really got into it myself. I guess I was way too worried about what could happen and I always felt like both my children were much better off in their own cribs.

Co-sleeping is definitely not for everyone--especially those not trained about the dangers it can pose if done incorrectly. But what about a mom who's first son dies after she accidentally smothers him to death in her bed (wasn't there a movie about this?) and then goes on to co-sleep with a second son only to have him die too? Well, according to a Texas jury, she's guilty of felony child endangerment.

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Vanessa Clark, 33, of Lufkin, Texas, lost a four-month-old baby named Christian in 2009. In June 2011, she was indicted in connection with the death of a second baby, Tristan, who was two months old when he died in a nearly identical manner as his brother. 

After Christian's death, Child Protective Services workers testified that they had warned Clark about the dangers of co-sleeping, including suffocation by the parents or by pillows or the folds in bedding. Soto said a remorseful Clark said she wished she had known about the dangers. "She promised me she would never bed-share again--lesson learned," said former CPS supervisor Lisa Soto. Except then she did anyways.

While I feel terrible for the losses this woman has gone through--there can be nothing worse than burying your children--why in the world would she opt for co-sleeping after what happened to her first son? The defense was right in contending that there are no laws against co-sleeping, but Clark should have been much more careful since she had already lost one baby.

Clark could face up to two years in jail. Her husband, Mark Clark, will be tried on the same charges soon. 

Was the jury right to convict Clark of felony child endangerment?

Image via Angelina County Jail

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