In an effort to help lower the city of Milwaukee’s infant mortality rate—which in 2009 was 10.4 deaths for every 1,000 live births—the city’s health department released a new ad featuring an infant sleeping soundly beside a giant knife. The text above the photo reads: Your baby sleeping with you can be just as dangerous.
Shocked by this? You are not a alone. Several people online have admitted that they find this image haunting and disturbing.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bevan Baker, Milwaukee’s Commissioner of Health, acknowledged that people might find the ads a little bit too extreme. He says, ”Is it shocking? Is it provocative? Yes. But what is even more shocking and provocative is that 30 developed and underdeveloped countries have better (infant death) rates than Milwaukee.”
While the message itself is an important one, some experts feel like the ads are just too much. NBC’s Chief Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman is very much against the ads. She says, “Look, co-sleeping in this country leads to infant deaths. We know that parents can roll over on babies and smother them. I think this is over the top, absolutely over the top. Their message is absolutely important, this is not the right way to do it.”
Outraged parents have suggested that education tactics, such as University of Notre Dame Biological Anthropology professor James J. McKenna’s guidelines for safe co-sleeping, are far more useful than scare tactics like these provocative ads.
Do you think the shock value of these ads is worth it? Or do you think The Milwaukee Health Department should be taking other, different tactics here?