On Monday morning, Jordan DeRosier found her seven-month-old baby dead in his crib. When she posted the news of her loss to Facebook, people sent messages of support, love, and condolences. But then anti-vaxxers in the comments comments telling everyone that the death of DeRosier’s baby was due to vaccines.
The anti-vaxxers were even directly messaging DeRosier to tell her that her baby had died from vaccines, which is an astonishingly horrible, tacky, inappropriate thing to do.
The next morning, after watching anti-vaxxers use her baby’s death to try to convince people that vaccines are dangerous, DeRosier posted again. Out of a combination of guilt and fear, DeRosier had not planned on writing about how her son had died. But once people started telling everyone it was because of vaccines, she said she had to.
DeRosier does know exactly why her baby died, and it was a terrible, tragic mistake.
“To those who keep commenting and messaging trying to blame vaccines for our sons death- stop,” she wrote. “Initially I had not wanted to explain the detailed circumstances of his death because of my guilt and the fear of condemnation from others. But I will not allow anyone to try and place blame where it does not belong.”
DeRosier’s baby had been put down to sleep with two blankets. One was a specially loved blankie he’d had since birth. The AAP recommends that babies not be put to sleep with any blankets, toys, pillows, or loose bedding until they’re at least 12 months old, but DeRosier said that since the baby was crawling, standing on his own, and climbing, that she thought he was mobile and strong enough to have blankets.
But while he was asleep, he got himself tangled up and suffocated to death.
DeRosier found him in the morning with the gray blanket wrapped around his head.
“He was last laid down to bed with this blanket made by his great-great grandmother, and one other blanket, a grey one he had been attached to since birth. They took the grey one he had been found with his head in,” DeRosier wrote. “He had pulled it through the crib rails somehow and gotten himself stuck in it. You never think it will happen to you. You never think it will be your baby. Please do not put your babies to bed with a blanket. Please. He was 7 months old, I thought because he was crawling, standing on his own, and climbing, that he would be fine with a blanket. This is the face of immense, unfathomable grief, the face of longing, of heartbreak, of self inflicted GUILT. I will NEVER stop feeling responsible. I will relive this for the rest of my life knowing EXACTLY what I could have done differently. Please learn from my world shattering mistake.”
The AAP says not to put a blanket in a baby’s crib until the baby is at least 12 months old.
DeRosier opened herself up to a lot of attacks and blame by posting that, but it was important. Anti-vaxxers were using her baby’s death to promote bad, dangerous, anti-science information. Vaccines are safe. Vaccines save millions of lives and are very important.
She also has done a lot to raise awareness of the dangers of putting blankets in cribs with babies. A lot of parents wonder when they can put babies to sleep with blankets. When babies get more mobile, they seem like they should be fine. But the AAP says to reduce the risk of SIDS, blankets should not be put in cribs with babies who are less than 12 months old.
(Image: Facebook / Jordan DeRosier)