Kimberly-Clark Pulls Huggies Promotion

Written by Larry Avila
Post-Crescent Media

Sometimes even the best thought-out promotions may convey the wrong message.

Dallas-based consumer products giant Kimberly-Clark Corp. recently pulled an image from its Huggies diapers website, which also was used in email coupon promotions for its Huggies OverNites line. The picture showed an infant laying asleep on top of an adult, which alarmed some parents and organizations, including Pittsburgh-based Cribs for Kids, which works to educate parents about the safest places for babies to sleep and reduce infant deaths caused by accidental suffocation.

Cribs for Kids estimates that more than 4,500 infants die suddenly and unexpectedly around the country annually.

“Many of these are accidental deaths related to suffocation, entrapment or strangulation while sleeping on a surface not designed for infant sleep, such as adult beds, couches and chairs,” said Judy Kimmitt Rainey, a representative for Cribs for Kids. “Many of these deaths are preventable.”

She said her organization periodically sends outs email alerts when images like those seen in the Huggies OverNites promotion hit the media.

“We make use of our strength in numbers to apply pressure to these companies,” Rainey said.

Bob Brand, a spokesman for K-C, said the image in question was “carefully vetted” before it was used in a commercial campaign, adding the company, a major Fox Cities employer, supports the promotion of safe sleeping techniques for babies.

Brand said the company believed the image depicted a safe sleeping situation.

“The father is awake and is on a couch,” he said. “The armrest was shown to indicate it is a couch, not a bed. The father’s eyes do not appear to be fully open because he is looking down at his baby.”

Brand said the picture’s intent was to show “an intimate moment between a father and his child.”

Brand said the company recognizes how the image may have been misinterpreted.

“Given that it is possible for someone to take aware the impression that the father in the picture is sleeping, as well as the baby, which we agree would be an unsafe sleeping situation, we understand that this could convey the unintended message that Huggies is endorsing co-sleeping or a potentially unsafe sleeping arrangement.”

Brand said the image was used in national promotional emails for about six months. It also appeared on the Huggies website during that time and still may appear on some packaging that will be shipped out this week.

The image no longer will appear anywhere, Brand said.

He said the company received 29 complaints or concerns through Thursday about the image since it began appearing and moved as quickly as possible to deal with them.

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Kolcraft Agrees to $400,000 Civil Penalty

Kolcraft Agrees to $400,000 Civil Penalty, Significant Internal Compliance Improvements for Failure to Report Defective Play Yards

Release Number: 13-136

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that Kolcraft Enterprises Inc., of Chicago, has agreed to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $400,000.

The penalty agreement has been accepted provisionally by the Commission in a 2-1 vote. Commissioner Nord voted to provisionally accept the agreement as originally drafted. Chairman Tenenbaum and Commissioner Adler voted to provisionally accept the agreement with amendments which were included in the final agreement.

In addition to paying a monetary penalty, Kolcraft agrees to implement robust changes to its internal control and compliance systems. Specifically, Kolcraft agrees to:

  • maintain and enforce a system of internal controls and procedures to ensure that the company promptly and accurately reports required information about its products to CPSC;
  • give CPSC staff written documentation of its improvements, processes, and controls related to its reporting procedures upon request;
  • and establish an effective program to ensure it remains in compliance with safety statutes and regulations enforced by CPSC.

Kolcraft agrees that, at a minimum, its compliance program must provide its employees with written standards and policies, compliance training, and the means to report compliance-related concerns confidentially.

The settlement resolves CPSC staff allegations that the firm knowingly failed to report to CPSC immediately, as required by federal law, a defect involving Kolcraft Travelin’ Tot play yards and play yards manufactured by Kolcraft for Carter’s, Sesame Street, Jeep, Contours, Care Bare, and Eric Carle. The play yards were sold nationwide from January 2000 through January 2009 for between $50 and $160. The side rail of the play yards can fail to latch properly and can unlatch unexpectedly when a child pushes against it, posing a fall hazard to children.

In August 2005, failure analysis experts hired by the firm identified the potential for false latching. In 2006, the firm made prospective improvements to the warning labels, instruction sheets, and the side-rail latch to eliminate false latching in future production of the play yards.

From about January 2000 through July 2009, Kolcraft received about 350 reports of the play yard collapsing, resulting in 21 injuries to young children, including bumps, scrapes, bruises, and one concussion.

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Bothell Police partner with Cribs for Kids Program

DECEMBER 26, 2012 · 4:20 PM

 The Bothell Police Department is partnering with the Cribs for Kids program to provide free, portable cribs to parents who have babies sleeping in an environment that could lead to a Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID).

Nine of 10 infants who die of SUID do so because of an unsafe sleep environment.

The cribs are free and come from the Cribs for Kids National Infant Safe Sleep Initiative. They will be provided to families in need who have an infant sleeping in a situation that could lead to a death.

The Bothell Police Department was invited to participate in a Cribs for Kids grant. The department was awarded cribs purchased by grant funds, to be distributed to citizens in need. The grant was facilitated by Deborah Robinson, the founder of the Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Investigations (SUIDI) organization. SUIDI is a national organization focusing on the investigation of child death and injury prevention. Robinson lost a child to SUID several years ago.

When Bothell police officers come across an infant who is sleeping in an unsafe environment such as a couch, regular bed, or with a family member, they will notify Bothell Police Juvenile Detective Dione

Thompson. Thompson will contact the family and offer assistance, which will include providing the crib, setting it up, and counseling the family about safe sleeping for infants. Education to help prevent sleep-related deaths due to unsafe sleeping environments is available at cribsforkids.org/education/.

Link to Original Source:  http://www.bothell-reporter.com/community/184866371.html

Safe Kids Upstate a Model for International Organization

BY APRIL A. MORRIS – UPDATED DECEMBER 19, 2012

Source: 

Greenville Journal

Network’s president visits to learn about local programs

In a state where the child injury and death rate continues to be higher than the national average, Safe Kids Upstate has been working for nearly two decades to reduce accidental injury to children.

On its 15th anniversary, the organization reduced the injury rate in its three-county service area by 25 percent, said manager Cynthia Fryer. It’s this progress that has caught the attention of Safe Kids Worldwide.

Safe Kids Worldwide’s president and CEO Kate Carr recently visited the Upstate to speak at the Safe Kids Upstate annual luncheon, but also to learn about the local affiliate’s model programs.

“The South Carolina Upstate coalition is one of our best in the country,” said Carr. She added that she is particularly interested in learning about local programs that are “functioning exceptionally well.”

One of those is the Upstate’s Cribs for Kids and safe sleep program, which offers portable cribs to families to encourage safe sleeping for infants. The Safe Kids Upstate program has distributed more than 1,100 portable cribs to help prevent suffocation deaths in infants younger than 1 year, Fryer said.

“Death from suffocation is the number one cause of children under the age of 1 dying of preventable injuries,” said Carr. “The program here is already recognized as a best practice. We want to take what we’ve learned here and use it in the expansion of our national program.”
Safe Kids Upstate serves Greenville, Pickens and Oconee counties and works to prevent accidental childhood injury through Cribs for Kids, fire safety, school and pedestrian safety, bicycle safety education and helmet distribution, along with proper vehicle restraint. Safe Kids Spartanburg also offers similar programs, including the Cribs for Kids.

One simple and innovative program is the life jacket loan system that was established in March 2012 at Lake Keowee, Fryer said. Boaters can borrow life jackets in varying sizes from a board at three different locations. There are also plans to expand the program to Lake Hartwell, she said.

Carr said she’s also very interested in the Upstate’s safe school program where “kids are mentored and become the safety experts within their schools. I think it’s tremendous.”

She said she considers the program “a model of something we could expand around the United States.”
“The thing about the work that we do, there’s a problem and there’s usually a solution. We just have to make the connection for people that they won’t have this problem if they use this solution,” Carr said.

“The issue in injury prevention is educating parents, children, families and caregivers about things you can do to make sure that your child can grow up to do the things that a child is meant to do … and have fun.”  Injury prevention also makes fiscal sense because healthcare visits, therapy and time lost at work can be avoided, she said.

Fryer said her organization is proud of its accomplishments, including no child deaths related to improper vehicle restraint in the last three years. About Carr’s interest, she said, “It’s nice that someone on that level recognizes the work that you do.”

For more information, visit www.safekidsupstate.org or www.safekids.org/worldwide.

Link to Originial Article:   http://www.greenvillejournal.com/local/1845-safe-kids-upstate-a-model-for-international-organization.html

Cribs for Kids® Partners with NYC Health Dept. in Aftermath of Hurricane

BMIRH staff, Amber Ahmad-Baker and Haywood Stephney, at the Gotham loading dock with DOHMH drivers getting ready to leave Gotham to deliver the cribs to shelters.

PARTNER NEWS - NEW YORK CITY, NY  – This week the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) organized an emergency relief mission in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy to help distribute portable cribs to families with infants in hurricane shelters, ensuring that babies in disaster areas in New York would still have a safe place to sleep through the hurricane recovery process.  Through their partnership with Cribs for Kids® National Infant Safe Sleep Initiative, NYC Health Department representatives were able to distribute Graco Pack N Play portable cribs, fitted sheets, Halo Safe Sleep Sacks, and fact sheets on infant/child safety, so that parents and caregivers would have information on safe sleep practices as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  “This was a true team effort and one more example of our public/private partnership” said Deborah Kaplan, Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health at the NYC Department of Health.

The Fund for Public Health in New York (FPHNY) facilitated immediate processing of the cribs and Cribs for Kids arranged overnight shipment of the supplies from its warehouse in Pittsburgh to Queens, NY.   DOHMH staff  identified shelters with infants and the number of infants at each site, the DOHMH Logistics team arranged transportation, Jo-Ellen Brannigan, NFP Nurse Supervisor at Richmond Home Services in Staten Island, and DOHMH Bureau of Maternal Infant and Reproductive
Health (BMIRH) staff pulled it all together, including Nurse-Family Partnership and Newborn Home Visiting staff going out to the shelters to distribute the cribs and provide safe sleep education.

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York Hospital pediatrician spreads safe sleep message

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is preventable, Dr. Michael Goodstein says.

By TERESA MCMINN
For the Daily Record/Sunday News
Updated:   11/07/2012 12:37:44 AM EST

York, PA -  Michael Goodstein said he wants people to pay attention to “a terrible silent epidemic.” Too many babies die — locally and across the country — because of unsafe sleeping conditions, he said.

Goodstein has been an attending neonatologist for more than 18 years at York Hospital for the Wellspan Medical Group. He’s a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force On Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and Goodstein is an expert on infant sleep safety issues, including education provided to new parents before they take their baby home.

“We have babies dying … every year,” he said. Many of those deaths, he said, could have been prevented.

SIDS — an infant’s unexpected demise that remains unexplained after an autopsy, review of the baby’s medical history and
examination of place of death are performed — has been associated with unsafe sleep practices. A baby is at risk for SIDS when it sleeps on its stomach, on its side, on soft bedding, is in an environment that includes cigarette smoke or is overheated, he said.

Many studies show that in up to 90 percent of SIDS cases, the infant was found in an unsafe position. SIDS is one of the causes of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death, which kills about 4,500 infants in the United States per year.

Other causes of SUID include accidental suffocation, poisoning, metabolic disorders and neglect, Goodstein said.

“There’s been such a tremendous increase,” he said. Rates of accidental suffocation and strangulation for babies in bed have increased 30 percent in the last decade.

Goodstein established the York County Cribs for Kids Program and has been its director since 2003. The group developed the Infant Safe Sleep Initiative in 2008. The following year, the AAP gave Goodstein a Special Achievement Award.

Last month, Goodstein presented infant safe sleep research findings at an AAP national convention in New Orleans.

“There are all these things we can do in terms of education,” he said of teaching people right and wrong ways to put an infant to sleep.

Babies can become entrapped between the bed and wall, bed frame, headboard or footboard when they sleep with an adult or child.

An infant should sleep on its back in the same room but not the same sleep surface as its caretaker.

A baby can also fall off an adult bed onto items such as pillows, thick quilts and comforters that cause suffocation.

Goodstein highlighted the “ABC’s” of safe sleeping.  “Alone, on the back, in the crib and no smoking,” he said and talked of
efforts to “get the message out.”

Goodstein said the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development recently kicked off its new “Safe To Sleep” campaign, which updates the “Back To
Sleep” program that started in 1994.

Roughly 30,000 children are alive today because of the BTS campaign,
Goodstein said.

“I think we’re making progress,” he said.

The latest program does not change BTS recommendations. It expands on them
and updates research in the field, he said.

Every few years, experts review the programs to help parents make the best
decisions possible for keeping their babies safe, he said.

Jonathan Liss, director of York Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit,
addressed the importance of Goodstein’s research.

“We know that a safe sleep environment and safe sleep practices decrease the
incidences of sudden infant death,” he said.

SIDS Facts

— SIDS is the leading cause of infant death between 1 month and 1 year of age.

— African-American babies are twice as likely to die of SIDS than white babies.

— Most SIDS deaths occur when the baby is between 2 and 4 months old.

— SIDS is not contagious, hereditary, brought on by child abuse, vomiting, choking or illnesses including colds or infections. It is not caused by immunizations against diseases such as diphtheria, pertussis or tetanus.

To reduce the risk of SIDS and accidental suffocation

— Infants should sleep on their backs on a firm mattress in a safety-approved crib without soft bedding, bumpers, pillows, comforters or toys.

— Keep the baby’s sleep area near, but separate from where parents sleep.

— Dress the infant in sleep clothes or a wearable blanket. If needed, one light cover, tucked securely at the bottom and sides of the crib, is a safe alternative.

— Never let an infant sleep in a bed or chair with someone who is smoking, tired, ill or overweight.

— Breastfeeding has important health benefits for babies and is protective against SIDS.

Sources: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention; sids-network.org

Cribs for Kids®

The Cribs for Kids® program, which was created to reduce infant deaths by providing an appropriate sleep environment through education and safe cribs, has expanded to over 350 locations in all U.S. states with more than 50 counties in Pennsylvania that participate.

York County Cribs For Kids, developed in 2003, helped over 1,600 families create a safe sleep environment.

Learn more:  www.cribsforkids.org

York County Cribs for Kids 717-812-7427 or 717-81-CRIBS

Adams County Cribs for Kids 717-337-0110

Read the Pennsylvania 2012 Child Death Review Annual Report: Deaths Reviewed in 2011 at http://www.childdeathreview.org/Reports/PA_CDR2012.pdf.

Link to Original Story at :  http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_21941319/york-hospital-pediatrician-out-spread-message-safe-sleep

Mayor Barrett, Health Commissioner visit churches to talk safe sleep

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and City of Milwaukee Commissioner of Health Bevan Baker spoke at several Milwaukee churches Sunday, October 14th for the “Safe Sleep Sabbath.” The event is meant to raise awareness of unsafe sleeping conditions for babies.

From 2009-2011, there were more than 520 stillbirths and infant deaths in Milwaukee. For every 1,000 births, 10 infants died. Black infants were three times more likely to die than white infants. A substantial portion of these infant deaths and stillbirths were preventable, including those with risk factors for unsafe sleep.

“There are some neighborhoods in the city where the infant mortality rates are comparable to those rates in third world countries. That’s not acceptable to me as mayor and we’re going to do everything we can to lower that,” Mayor Barrett said.

Sunday, Mayor Barrett and Baker hoped to spread the message of the importance of health for expectant mothers as well as safe sleeping conditions for infants and babies.

“We’re looking at issues like prematurity, access to health care, appropriate diet, making sure that women don’t get close to smoke, second-hand smoke included,” Mayor Barrett said.

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Cribs for Kids® Receives CPSC Award

CPSC Announces Chairman’s Commendation Award Recipients

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today the recipients of the 2nd annual Chairman’s Commendation Awards.  Four nominees were chosen for their significant contributions to consumer product safety.

The Chairman’s Commendation Award was created by CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum in 2011 to identify and honor people, organizations, businesses, state and local governments and other groups who have worked to reduce deaths, prevent injuries
and improve consumer product safety.

“These individuals deserve to be recognized for their hard work to advance consumer product safety. They have saved countless numbers of lives through their advocacy, working to educate parents and industry, making toys safer with better labeling and safe cribs available to families who couldn’t afford one,” said Chairman Tenenbaum.

This year’s recipients of the Chairman’s Commendation Award are:

  • Judith Bannon, Cribs for Kids® – Judith Bannon is the Executive Director of Cribs for Kids®, a national infant safe sleep initiative that she started in 1998. Cribs for Kids®, is a national network of partners that has provided more than 130,000 free, safe cribs to high-risk, low-income families who cannot afford one, and educates caregivers about the dangers of unsafe sleep environments.
  • Dr. Ik-Whan Kwon, St. Louis University’s Center for Supply Chain Management Studies – In 2009, the Center for Supply Chain Management Studies became the first to offer university-level product safety courses for product safety professionals within industry. Dr. Ik-Whan Kwon, the director of the Center for Supply Chain Management Studies, has led the program since its start and has earned the title of product safety ‘patron’ at the school. This year, U.S. News and World Report recognized the Center for the quality of its programs in the supply chain field.
  • Stephen Teret, JD, MPH, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – Stephen Teret is a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School and is a pioneer in the field of public
    health law. He is a widely- acclaimed national leader in product safety, injury and violence prevention and food policy. Teret founded the school’s Center for Law and the Public’s Health and has served as its director since 2000. His advocacy work led to more effective warning labels on toys with choking hazards.  He has written numerous articles and books on injury prevention and consumer product safety.
  • Rachel Weintraub, Consumer Federation of America – Rachel Weintraub is the Director of Product Safety and Senior Counsel for the Consumer Federation of America. She led a coalition of consumer, public health and public interest groups that worked with Congress on consumer product safety reform. This resulted in a new law, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, that requires strong mandatory standards for many infant nursery products, including cribs, lower levels of lead and phthalates in toys and requires independent third party testing of children’s products.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, go online to: SaferProducts.gov, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing and speech impaired. Consumers can obtain this news release and product safety information at www.cpsc.gov. To join a free e-mail subscription list, please go to www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx.

Link to original article: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12277.html
http://www.cpsc.gov/

NIH expands safe infant sleep outreach effort

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute ofChild Health andHuman Development (NICHD)

For Immediate Release – Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Contact: Robert Bock or Marianne Glass Miller 301-496-5133

‘Safe to sleep’ seeks to reduce risk of  sleep-related infant death

The U.S. national campaign to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome has entered a new phase and will now encompass all sleep-related, sudden unexpected infant deaths, officials of the National Institutes of Health announced today.

The  campaign, which has been known as the Back to Sleep Campaign, has been renamed  the Safe to Sleep Campaign.

The  NIH-led Back to Sleep Campaign began in 1994, to educate parents, caregivers,  and health care providers about ways to reduce the risk of sudden infant death  syndrome (SIDS). The campaign name was derived from the recommendation to  place healthy infants on their backs to sleep, a practice proven to reduce SIDS  risk. SIDS is the sudden death of an infant under 1 year of age that cannot be  explained, even after a complete death scene investigation, autopsy, and review  of the infant’s health history. Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID)  includes all unexpected infant deaths: those due to SIDS, and as well as those  from other causes.

Many SUID cases are due to such causes as accidental suffocation and entrapment, such as when an infant gets trapped between a mattress and a wall, or when bedding material presses on or wraps around an infant’s neck.  In addition to stressing the placement of infants on their backs for all sleep times, the Safe to Sleep Campaign emphasizes other ways to provide a safe sleep environment for infants.  This includes placing infants to sleep in their own safe sleep environment and not on an adult bed, without any soft bedding such as blankets or quilts. Safe to Sleep also emphasizes breast feeding infants when possible, which has been associated with reduced SIDS risk, and eliminating such risks to infant health as overheating, exposure to tobacco smoke, and a mother’s use of alcohol and illicit drugs.

“In recent years, we’ve learned that many of the risk factors for SIDS are similar to those for other sleep-related causes of infant death,” said Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D., Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the NIH institute which sponsors Safe to Sleep.  “Placing infants on their backs to sleep and providing them with a safe sleep environment for every sleep time reduces the risk for SIDS as well as death from other causes, such as suffocation.”

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Lufkin woman, 37, sentenced for co-sleeping…

Lufkin woman, 37, is sentenced to 119 months in prison for co-sleeping…

Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2012 1:54 pm
Updated: 10:33 am, Fri Aug 24, 2012.           

By JESSICA COOLEY/The Lufkin NewsThe Lufkin News

A Lufkin mother on Thursday was sentenced to one month shy of 10 years in prison in connection with the July 2010 co-sleeping death of her 4-month-old son.

Baby Tristan was Vanessa Clark’s second child to die while sharing a king-sized bed with her and her husband Mark. Following the 2009 death of 1-month-old Christian, which was ruled Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Child Protective Services advised the couple not to share their bed with any future children, according to previous reports.

Vanessa Clark

ANDY ADAMS/The Lufkin NewsVanessa Clark, 37, hugs a family member after being sentenced by state District Judge Paul White to serve 119 months in prison on the charge of child endangerment for the July 2010 co-sleeping death of her infant son.

For the first time since the case began, Clark took the stand in her own defense Thursday, claiming it was never her intention to fall asleep with the baby in the bed. She went on to say that being up all hours of the night with a newborn while continuing to care for the couple’s 3-year-old was exhausting.

“I fell asleep. It was not intentional,” Clark said. “He has to fall asleep beside me. Once I put him in the bassinet, he woke back up and I put him back in bed with me. I had no idea I was going to fall asleep.”

Clark’s husband was tried on the same charge in May, but a jury found him not guilty. Prosecutor Dale Summa put Mark Clark on the stand Thursday, questioning him about his wife’s judgment on the night in question.

“You told your wife to place the baby in the bassinet. Is that true?” Summa asked.

“Yes. Before I fell asleep, he was in the bed,” he said.

Summa went on to question Mark Clark about his wife’s treatment of their 3-year-old at the time their infant died. After answering “she was hard on him, but nothing serious,” Mark Clark called upon his attorney Bill Agnew for a private discussion.

Agnew then announced his client wished to invoke his spousal privilege to prevent him from testifying against his wife.

“He only wants to testify about what he legally has to and nothing else,” Agnew said.

Summa went on to question Mark Clark about the couple’s home life, going back to the night in question and his wife’s prescription drug addiction.

“When you’re a mother, you’re going to stay up half the night taking care of the baby. I’m not going to say the medication did it,” he said.

After hearing from a few of Clark’s family members, her attorney, John Reeves, called her to stand to address her previous criminal history, the five years she spent in prison and her oldest son, who has been raised by her grandparents.

“I’m not the person I used to be. Prison changed me,” she said. “Please don’t take me away from my children. My son starts school Monday and I would like to be there for that.”

In cross examination, Summa asked Clark about her tanning while she was pregnant with baby Tristan.

“How important was it for you to get that tan?” Summa asked Clark.

“It wasn’t vital. Just something cosmetic. I didn’t have to have it,” she said. “My doctor told me it was OK after my third month.”

“And who was that?” Summa asked.

“I can’t recall because I saw so many doctors,” she said.

All of the testimony was completed around 1:30 p.m. Because of a previous aggravated assault conviction, Clark’s child endangerment charge was enhanced from a state jail felony to a third-degree felony.

Given all the facts of the case, White was then faced with deciding whether Clark merited probation or spending up to 10 years in prison. Clark stood, trembling, as White announced her sentence — 119 months in prison. She immediately began sobbing as her husband clasped his head in his hands crying.

White told Clark the case is about more than just co-sleeping, bringing attention to her abuse of Xanax and hydrocodone.

“I may be painted as a home wrecker, but you had the capacity of doing that on your own,” White said. “Understand this is not about the illegality of co-sleeping, it is about a number of factors you had in your life. Unlike you, I cannot ignore the prior episode.”

He went on to tell Clark that her sentence — 9 years and 11 months — means she will be eligible for bond upon filing an appeal because he had the foresight to sentence her one month shy of 10 years in prison.

“If you walk away with an appeal bond, are you going to make a media exploitation of this?” he asked her. “Do you know what I mean?”

“Yes, get on national TV,” she said, shaking her head.

In May, Clark and her husband appeared on Inside Edition to talk about the case.

“I have sympathy and empathy for anyone who loses a child,” White said, “but my concern for children always trumps that of an adult.”

With his wife put in the custody of Angelina County, Mark Clark said they will likely hire their own attorney on the appeal to get her out of jail as quickly as possible on a $10,000 bond.

Jessica Cooley’s email address is jcooley@lufkindailynews.com.

Original Story found on The Lufkin News website:  http://lufkindailynews.com/news/local/article_07ff4836-ed54-11e1-8b61-0019bb2963f4.html

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