Indiana grandfather David Morgan always tucked a pillow under his grandson’s head when it was nap time so that he wouldn’t choke on spit-up, just like he had done for his own son before that.
His son, Christopher, told The Indianapolis Star that he couldn’t digest his food properly as a baby because of pyloric stenosis — a thickening of the stomach and small intestine.
Four-month-old Jaxon appeared to have inherited the same condition.
So when grandpa David propped his head up in the crib and covered him with a blanket, he didn’t know he was doing something potentially dangerous — until he checked in on his grandson a short time later.
I turned and looked, and as soon as I seen him, my heart just shattered.
On Feb. 9, 2016, little Jaxon stopped breathing and died in his crib. His cause of death was positional asphyxia.
According to Baby Your Baby, positional asphyxia occurs when a person’s body position causes them to suffocate. In infants, this often occurs because they are placed in unsafe sleeping conditions.
Even though Jaxon’s family meant to help him with the pillow and blanket, it ultimately contributed to his death.
Experts say that when it comes to cribs, parents should keep it clean and simple — don’t put anything in there at all.
Guidelines released by the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that parents place infants on their backs atop a firm mattress and fitted sheet.
The guidelines state:
Avoid use of soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys. The crib should be bare.
Roughly 3,500 infants die in the United States each year of sleep-related causes, according to the AAP.
And now, Jaxon is among them. The grandfather told The Indianapolis Star:
“I didn’t want him to be just another stat, you know. As tough as it is to talk about it, it needs to be talked about.”
David and Christopher now hope that sharing Jaxon’s story will help other parents realize the importance of safe sleeping conditions.