WATERFORD -- A baby boy died after his mother apparently rolled on top of him while they were sleeping together in bed, authorities said.
Deputies and emergency crews were called to a home in the 400 block of Church Street on Monday because a newborn baby wasn't breathing, according to deputy Royjindar Singh, spokesman for the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department.
When emergency crews arrived, they took the boy to Oak Valley Hospital in Oakdale, where he was pronounced dead.
Singh said there was no indication of trauma on the child's body or suspicious circumstances in the home.
He said his department is awaiting autopsy reports. A homicide detective with the department responded to the home, which is standard procedure.
Singh said if autopsy results support evidence from the scene such as, for example, that the baby died from asphyxiation then the death likely would be termed accidental. If results show something more, such as trauma to the child, then an investigation would follow and that information would be forwarded to the Stanislaus County district attorney's office.
Singh did not have any specific information regarding the age of the child, who was at home, the description of the bed or how long the mother was asleep before realizing what had happened.
Firefighters with the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District also responded, along with an ambulance.
The practice of parents sleeping with children in bed is a controversial topic.
According to a 2005 article by the American Academy of Pediatrics, although research indicates that parents and children sleeping together can ease breast-feeding and enhance parental bonding, epidemiologic studies have shown that it can be hazardous. "Several case series of accidental suffocation or death from undetermined cause suggest that bed sharing is hazardous," the article added.
In 2010, a 3-year-old from Turlock died after her father rolled over on her as the two slept on a couch. In October 2008, a 6-week-old Modesto baby died in bed during a nap with his mother. Ten months earlier, a 5-week-old infant girl died after apparently suffocating while sleeping in bed with her mother.