Edmond Mom Pushes For More Regulation After Son Suffocates At Daycare

Friday, July 17th 2015, 6:46 pm
By: News 9

An Edmond mother is opening up about the loss of her son to help save other children.

Ali Dodd’s infant suffocated at a daycare while sleeping in a car seat.

Now, Dodd is on a mission to change Oklahoma regulations and she has enlisted the help of lawmakers.

“I just had this instant connection with him that hopefully I'll never forget,” Dodd said.

Dodd is grieving the loss of her 11-week-old son, Shepard.

“I have to do this for my son, his life has to matter and if this is the way this gets done, then this is something I have to do,” Dodd said.

In April, Shepard died on his 6th day at an in-home daycare.

“When he was found, he was completely blue and he hadn't been breathing for a while,” Dodd told News 9.

Dodd said the in-home daycare owner admitted to putting Shepard in a car seat on the ground in a room with the door shut for 90 minutes.

He wiggled down so much he suffocated in his sleep.

DHS is in the process of revoking the daycare owner's license, however, she can appeal the revocation.

“Honestly I was grasping at straws, trying to figure out what it was I was going to do with my time to make being here worth it,” she explained.

Dodd did not know the device she used every day could be dangerous.

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services said allowing an infant to sleep in a car seat, swing or bouncy chair is a dangerous practice and increases the chances of SIDS.

In 2013, 75 infants died from unsafe sleeping practices.

In 2014, there were 63 infant sleep-related deaths.

The deaths are preventable and Dodd set out on a mission to push for safe sleeping practices.

She even got the legislature involved and just found out this week an interim study was approved and could lead to stricter legislation.

“We are going to change Oklahoma for the better, we are going to protect more children,” Dodd said.  “Even though I lost my child, no one else should have to,” she added.

Two state senators are sponsoring the interim study on safe sleeping practices.

A new law regulating swaddling and blankets for sleeping infants goes into effect in January of 2016.

Based on information from the American Academy of Pediatrics, infant swaddling will have some restrictions and blankets for infants will be prohibited.

To assist with the transition to a safer sleep environment, DHS will provide infant ‘sleep sacks’ to programs affected by the revision.

Also, DHS bought 500 cribs and 500 pack-n-plays to give to families in need to help prevent sleep-related deaths.

For more information visit:

OCC Health Department Safe Sleep Environments

Shepard’s Page