YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Mahoning County Coroner’s Office has ruled that a baby that died early Sunday died after being bit in the head by a dog.
Mahoning County Deputy Coroner Joseph Ohr said the newborn’s death was an accident and not an attack, as the dog was trying to pick up the child and has never been vicious. Rather, the baby, Aidan, died due to a puncture wound to the head at his home on Valorie Drive on the south side of Youngstown.
Ohr said he hopes to get the word out about the services available to mothers so a tragic accident like this doesn’t happen again.
Aiden’s mom, Kristy Grim, talked to WKBN Monday about her son’s death. She said she was sleeping on a couch near the baby, who was lying in a laundry basket that was used as a makeshift crib.
Ohr says this is more common than many may think, with poverty in the area and many families lacking the proper resources. He is speaking out against attacks against the mother on social media, a lot of which he says are shameful and embarrassing.
“Maybe this young mom isn’t educated on dogs and babies… Frankly, all of us are just one wrong step off the curb from being a victim ourselves,” he said.
Chris Cunningham, director of nursing at the Mahoning County District Board of Health, said having a safe sleep environment for an infant is crucial.
The Mahoning County District Board of Health participates in a national program, Cribs for Kids, which offers free Graco Pack ‘n Play portable cribs for pregnant women and new mothers. The Youngstown agency has given away 100 portable cribs since it launched a year and half ago.
“Basically, all it takes is a woman calling in and asking to come to one of the classes where training is provided,” Cunningham said.
The training takes an hour, and mothers have to meet WIC income requirements, be at least 32 weeks pregnant or have a baby less than a year old and less than 30 pounds.
Deatrice Traylor, social worker and coordinator of the Resource Mothers program, said it is important to get young mothers connected with services that can help in the community. Resources Mothers is offered through Mercy Health and provides support to women during their pregnancy and for one year after the birth of their baby.
The Resource Mothers are specially trained women with knowledge of pregnancy and childcare who make monthly home visits. They also offer educational information about infant care, nutrition, immunizations, safe sleep and more.
“This is dear to my heart, and these babies are dear to my heart because these are our future,” Traylor said. “If we aren’t going to take care of our future, we have no future.”
The program also works with Cribs for Kids and Akron Children’s Hospital to make sure moms have car seats for their babies.