FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --A Fresno family is grieving over the death of a baby girl Monday morning. Police say the infant was sleeping next to her father and that may have caused her death.
Police say it appears the child may have suffocated and they are stressing that anything from a blanket to a toy can cause a tragedy.
Inside the gated Fresno community is heartbreak for a family who lost a child so young.
"Very, very sad," Lt. Joe Gomez with the Fresno Police Department said. "I know we've worked together for a while, and we've seen this before."
Officers swarmed the Apple Creek Apartment Complex Monday. Inside, they found a dad performing CPR on a baby girl. Detectives say the 4-month-old wasn't breathing and appeared to have suffocated.
"The father rolled over on the child when the baby was in bed with the dad," Gomez explained. "You've seen this before, the child smothers."
Nurses at Valley Children's Hospital say, unfortunately, these cases happen every year. Sometimes it's a pillow or loose clothing that block's the child's airway, and it only takes as little as 20 seconds to cause severe damage.
"You can have some pretty bad outcomes like cerebral palsy, paralysis, mental delays that could affect the baby for the rest of their lives," Mark Fung with the hospital said.
Babies don't have the ability to pick their heads up. They also lack the coordination to pull away objects covering their head, and nurses say your baby should always sleep on their back, on a firm surface that's not a parent's bed.
"We understand parents want to be close to their baby and they want to spend as much time as they can with them, but something as simple as placing them in a crib next to their bed is very simple and can prevent serious outcomes," Fung explained.
Doctors say parents should sleep in the same room but never in the same bed until the child turns one year old because of how easy it is for a child to suffocate.