Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Linked To Bad Parents Who Could Have Done Something

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Vol 33 Issue 11

Olympic Speed Skater Thinking About Maybe Taking Out The Garbage

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO—U.S. Olympic speed skater Jared Wells, 24, who placed sixth in the 500-meter sprint at last month's Nagano Games, is reportedly thinking about maybe taking out the garbage. "Yeah, those pizza boxes are really starting to pile up there," said Wells, speaking from his living-room couch. "I guess I should take care of that. But first I'm gonna finish building this house made out of Entertainment Weekly subscription-card inserts."

Governor Pardons Self For Living

LANSING, MI—Michigan governor John Engler issued a formal pardon to himself for living Tuesday. "Like, excuse me for living, okay?" read the four-page pardon, which absolves Engler from all culpability in his own existence. "I guess I'm not God. Hope that's okay with everybody." The sneering, sarcastic tone of the gubernatorial pardon is believed to be a reaction to the widespread criticism leveled at Engler in recent weeks, including a Lansing News-Clarion editorial calling him "Governor Lame-o" and a report by Detroit's NBC-TV affiliate suggesting that he "get half a clue." "I am sooo sorry I didn't live up to your expectations," Engler said.

Ganymede Totalled In Three-Moon Pileup

PALO ALTO, CA—Astronomers at the Palo Alto Observatory are citing "lunar error" as the cause of the three-moon pileup that totalled Ganymede and severely dented Callisto and Europa Monday, causing an estimated $700 quadrillion in damage. "Apparently, a comet passed within Saturn's orbit just ahead of Callisto," Observatory associate director Charles Rayburn said, "causing Callisto to swerve and lose control, colliding with Europa and creating a pileup which Ganymede struck from behind." None of the three moons were insured.

Area Grandparents Still Have No Idea What Grandson Does For A Living

BOSTON—Sources confirmed Monday that Walter and Nancy Brandt, grandparents of Boston-area systems consultant Charles Brandt, 31, still do not have the slightest idea what their grandson does for a living. "We are very proud of our Charles," said Nancy, 82. "Whatever he does in that job of his, I'm sure it's very impressive." Said Walter: "I think what Charles does is make sure companies have enough computers and employees so that they can—oh, I haven't a clue." The couple also has no idea what their granddaughter, Erica Haselrig, a Lodi, NJ, human-resources supervisor, does for a living.

Sudanese Youths Go Wild For Great Taste Of Any Food Whatsoever

KHARTOUM, SUDAN—In the biggest fad to sweep Sudan's thrill-seeking teens since 1994's "extreme thirst" craze, youths in this Northeast African nation are going wild for the great taste of any food whatsoever. The new "absolutely anything edible" fad is reflected in current Sudanese youth fashions, dominated by neon-colored, zebra-striped hats and shirts featuring slogans like, "Do you have any food?" and "I am extremely hungry." Sociologist Gavin Werner of Tufts University explained the craze: "For these young people, such fads are a way of setting themselves apart from their parents and forging a generational identity of their own. They are also starving to death and must obtain food if they are to live much longer."

Appeasing The Ignorant Masses

So, my despised arch-enemy and rival in the news-paper trade William Randolph Hearst thinks he can single-handedly stop The Onion dead in its tracks by putting that vulgar "Yellow-Kid" comical drawing panel in his New-York Journal?

It's True (Or Drew) Love!

Item! Has heavyweight funnyman Drew Carrey finally found love? According to my reliable sources, he sure has! The grapevine tells me that Carrey has been spotted about town on the arm of the redheaded woman from that Brooke Shields show. To date, they've gone bowling, eaten pizza–hold the anchovies!–and taken in a movie. Honestly, I can't think of a better match than those two. I mean, can you imagine the jokes? Oh, to be a fly on the wall on one of their dates!

Ask A Wiccan

Morganna Goldenwand is a syndicated advice columnist whose weekly column, Ask A Wiccan, appears in over three newspapers nationwide. She is also the author of Tread Lightly: A Guide To The Sacred Woodland Glades Of Upper Illinois, and has just released a CD, Blessed Morning!, a collection of Celtic chants accompanied by crystal Tibetan singing bowls.
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Special Coverage



Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Linked To Bad Parents Who Could Have Done Something

WASHINGTON, DC—According to a study released Monday by the National Pediatric Association, a link exists between Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the mysterious condition that results in the unexplained death of 1 in 500 U.S. infants each year, and bad parents who could have done something.


After conducting interviews with some 1,500 parents of SIDS victims, researchers discovered a connection between the tragic death of a seemingly healthy baby and the terrible people who had completely failed in their role as parents and caregivers.

"For years, the medical community did not know what causes SIDS, as no single factor appeared to be common to all cases," National Pediatric Association director Dr. Lucille Reese said. "But we have finally isolated a unique trait shared by all SIDS victims known as malis parentibus, or 'bad parents.' After all, these parents must have done something wrong. Why else would this have happened?"

The three-year study found that, not only could parents of SIDS victims have prevented the death of their children by not being such incompetent caregivers, they also failed to love their children enough in the weeks or months leading up to the infant's death.

"Three days before Derek left us I swore at him," said a tearful Helene Fordice of Butte, MT, who lost her son to SIDS Feb. 11. "My horrible words, 'Sweetie, for God's sake, hold still a second so mommy can change you,' will haunt me for the rest of my life."

According to Dr. Milton Kessel (left), horrible parents cause more than 200,000 SIDS deaths each year.

Fordice, one of the many parents who participated in the study, also reported that she had failed to let Derek know how important he was to her while she still had the chance.

"If I'd been a better mother, Derek would be alive today," Fordice said.

According to the study, the bad parenting that causes SIDS can take on many forms, including breastfeeding incorrectly, leaving the child unsupervised for 35 seconds, holding the baby too often or not enough, and failing to have the child baptized.

SIDS deaths have historically been difficult to accept by those in the medical profession due to the extremely young age of the victim and the many unanswered questions surrounding the syndrome. Despite the fact that SIDS is the single leading killer of infants, doctors have had little definite information to offer the public—until now.

"We've spent years searching for the cause of SIDS, examining such factors as maternal health and age, prenatal care, birth procedure and immunization history," said Dr. Ravi Harmuti, co-chair of the study. "But we'd never been able to tie all SIDS cases together until we pinpointed the unbelievable incompetence of the parents involved."

"Finally, we'll be able to give parents an explanation for the SIDS-related death of their child," said Dr. Milton Kessel, Director of Pediatric Medicine at Boston Lutheran Hospital. "From now on, whenever a bewildered, hysterical parent asks what happened, we can end their confusion and let them know that they are entirely to blame."

The National Pediatric Association findings are the result of groundbreaking new interview-based research methods. Instead of examining tissue samples, autopsy results and specific environmental factors, the study focused on testimonials given by grief-stricken parents who were asked to honestly assess how much they really wanted a child, anyway.

As a result of the study, the National Pediatric Association is embarking on a nationwide SIDS public-awareness program. It is hoped that the new "SIDS: It's All Your Fault" campaign will result in a sharp overall reduction in SIDS-related fatalities.

"Now that we know that bad parenting is the culprit, no infant need die of SIDS again," Reese said. "Except, of course, in those instances in which the SIDS death is God's way of punishing a parent for some past sin."

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