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Politics & Government

Some Co-Sleeping Deaths in Wisconsin Could Become Felonies

Rep. Samantha Kerkman's legislation would charge adults with a felony, if they fall asleep next to an infant while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and the baby dies.

Several dozen co-sleeping deaths have been reported in Wisconsin in recent years, most in Milwaukee. In some cases, investigators say the adult admitted being impaired.

Kerman's bill would also require training for all new parents and high school students, about the safest way for babies to sleep - on their back, alone in their own bed.

The Republican representative says she decided to author the bill, after the Kenosha County District Attorney urged criminal penalties following a co-sleeping death in that occurred in that community in 2011.