Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » JEAN LIEDLOFF FANS BEWARE

    Filed at 5:52 pm under by dcobranchi

    This recent development in Philly sounds like the vanguard of a coming national attack on the family bed:

    The city [announced] a new campaign to educate the public about the risks of “co-sleeping,” the practice of adults and/or siblings sharing a sleeping space with infants. The Health Department and the Department of Human Services will be running print, radio, and TV ads informing parents that “the safest place for your child to sleep is alone, on his or her back, in an uncluttered crib,” according to DHS Commissioner Cheryl Ransom-Garner.

    And what’s worse is that it wasn’t supposed to be this way. The HD, armed with a thorough understanding of statistics and a cultural sensitivity unusual in a government agency, originally was just going to release guidelines for safe co-sleeping — a reasonable proposition — but a local columnist with a surfeit of ignorance about correlation and causation served up five poisoned pieces on the topic over the course of a month, politically backing the health commissioner into a corner. Now there’s a playbook for “concerned journalists” in other cities to follow when their health departments refuse to whip up unwarranted hysteria about an ancient and beneficial practice.

    But hey, what’s tens of thousands of years of mammalian history when you’ve got 25 column inches to fill?


    Comment by
    October 31st, 2004
    at 5:00 pm

    What I would love to have seen would be the HD stand up to the media and defend their sound research. Usually I’m not a fan of government, but this time the HD was trying to do the right thing, and they let themselves get backed into a corner. Sad.