The Milwaukee Health Department is running an ad campaign warning residents against sleeping with their babies.
The campaign shows a baby -- black in one version, white in another -- sleeping with a knife, and urges parents to make sure their baby sleeps on its back in a crib. The tagline reads: Your baby sleeping with you can be just as dangerous.
Mayor Tom Barrett said that when he first saw the preliminary ads designed by Serve Marketing, he wondered whether they were too provocative and too raw.
Co-sleeping deaths are the most preventable form of infant death in this community, Barrett told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Is it shocking? Is it provocative? asked Commissioner of Health Bevan Baker.
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Yes. But what is even more shocking and provocative is that 30 developed and underdeveloped countries have better (infant death) rates than Milwaukee, replied Barrett.
Minutes before city officials unveiled a new safe-sleep advertising campaign, the medical examiner's office announced that a seven-week-old baby was found dead on Milwaukee's south side after co-sleeping with the mother. The infant is at least the ninth Milwaukee baby to die this year while in an unsafe sleep environment.