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Hot topics: How dangerous is sleeping next to your baby?

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Would you put your baby to sleep next to a butcher knife? Of course not. So why let your baby sleep in bed with you - it may be just as dangerous.

That's the message of an ad campaign geared at getting parents to put babies to sleep in cribs, rather than in adult beds.

CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen writes about this is a recent blog post at She references an ad at a bus stop in Milwaukee. The ad shows a baby sleeping next to a butcher knife that's almost as long as the baby and very, very sharp. Underneath the ads, the text reads "Your baby sleeping with you can be just as dangerous."

But some wonder if the ads have gone too far.

"I strongly disagree with this very insensitive and unscientific ad," Dr. William Sears, author of the "The Baby Book," told CNN's Suzanne Malveaux. "Every night the world over, millions and millions of babies and mothers sleep close to one another and they wake up just fine."

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he knew from the start that these ads would be controversial - and he's OK with that.

Between 1990 and 1997, 515 infants died while sleeping in adult beds, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. About a quarter of the deaths occurred when parents rolled over on their babies. The rest were due to other causes such as babies suffocating in a soft blanket or getting stuck between the mattress and the bed frame.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says infants should never share a bed during sleep, but some doctors advocate the "family bed." Sears told CNN that a bassinet that pulls alongside a parents' bed is "probably the safest for most parents."