On the morning of July 3, 2017, Jordan DeRosier, a new mother, woke up to a horrifying sight. She went into her son Sloan’s room to take him out of his crib. She noticed he was on his stomach with his favorite blanket wrapped around his head. So she yanked it off, touched his back, and felt his cold body. Her 7-month-old son was dead.
DeRosier stared at the scene before her in horror. She said that her son’s “face and chest were completely purple on one side. His lips blue. His eyes closed.” She and her husband, Justin, tried performing CPR on Sloan and called 911 right away. For thirty agonizing minutes, paramedics tried to revive the baby. They had no luck. The death of Sloan was ruled as accidental by Pierce County Police Department detectives.
In the days following the incident, DeRosier found solace in reporting online what had happened to Sloan, warning other mothers out there about the dangers of blankets in cribs. She knew negative and hateful comments would probably come spiraling her way, but she thought it was more important to inform mothers that you can never be too careful. Just when you think something like this could never happen to your baby, it does.
This photograph depicts DeRosier hugging the blanket that suffocated Sloan. She lays next to her other son, Rowan, who is 3 years old. Her face fights back tears. The Facebook post explains what happened and warns mothers to make the right choices when it comes to crib safety. It’s so evident DeRosier blames herself for what happened to Sloan, and it’s tough for her to come to grips with the reality that she will never see him again.
It certainly was brave of her to speak out about what happened to her family. But it seems she eventually broke down, and found the need to finish grieving privately, away from online commenters. She posted this to her Instagram not long after the initial Facebook post.
DeRosier, her husband, and her other son are trying to continue life normally. The devastated mother said that she and Rowan hold hands every morning for a while, and that he sleeps on an air mattress next to her.
She plans to attend grief and trauma counseling with her family, and despite this incredible loss, she still wants to spread Sloan’s heartbreaking story in order to prevent this from happening to other babies.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should wait until your baby is at least 12 months old before allowing a blanket in the crib. Blankets and pillows increase the risk of suffocation or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Safe alternatives to blankets are sleepers, wearable blankets, and sleep sacks. After 12 months, the risk of suffocation goes down significantly because the infants are able to roll over and have the dexterity to know to move a blanket from obstructing their face.
In 2015, there were 3,700 infant deaths which included 1,600 deaths due to SIDS, 1,200 deaths due to unknown causes, and about 900 deaths due to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed. Hopefully, DeRoiser and other mothers who have been through a horrible situation like this will find peace and strength through informing and educating the masses about proper crib safety.