8.8 deaths per 100,000
In 2003, in Canada 8.8 people per 100,000 population were killed in fatal car accidents.
8.8 deaths per 100,000
In 2008, in Ontario 8.8 babies per 100,000 live births died while sharing an adult bed or mattress with an adult.
The Ontario coroner says it is dangerous for babies to share a bed with their parents because of 8.8 deaths per 100,000 live births. That must mean it is dangerous to travel by car, because there were 8.8 deaths per 100,000 people. The Ontario coroner should be advising all Ontarians to avoid car travel. Travel by foot is much safer. We should ban cars.
How would that recommendation go over?
Cars are convenient. People like cars. Peoples lives would be changed significantly and we would have to drastically change our habits to give up cars.
Bed sharing is convenient. Parents and babies like co-sleeping. Parents would be more tired, breastfeeding rates would be reduced, and parents would be less responsive to their infants at night if they had to give up bed sharing.
Bed sharing is a reality. Parents do it. Banning it or discouraging it is as ridiculous as trying to ban or discourage car travel.
If people stopped traveling by car except when it was really necessary, there would probably be more accidents and more deaths because the roads would be full of inexperienced drivers. And when parents are generally discouraged from sleeping with their babies and then bring them into bed when really desperate, there are more accidents, more deaths.
The Ontario coroner should stop telling people not to bed share and instead tell them how to make bed sharing safer. Public health agencies don't tell people not to travel by car, instead they tell them to use seatbealts, use car seats, drive the speed limit, don't use cell phones while driving, etc. Address the conditions that make bed sharing unsafe. But don't tell people not to do it. Because they will. And they will do it unsafely.
- The figure of 8.8 deaths per 100,000 for car accidents was taken from Canadian Motor Vehicle Traffic Collision Statistics 2003.
- The figure of 8.8 deaths per 100,000 live births for babies that died while sharing an adult bed or mattress with an adult was taken from the Pediatric Death Review Committee and Deaths Under Five Committee from June 2009. The actual numbers are 9 bed sharing deaths of an adult bed and 3 on a mattress (in 2008) out of around 135,595 live births (2007 figures - can't find the number for 2008).