A two-week-old baby girl of Pakistani ethnicity passed away after she was found unconscious in bed with her mother in a village house in the New Territories on Monday.
A 51-year-old man, who is the infant’s grandfather, alerted police at 5am to say his granddaughter was unconscious at home in Nim Wan Village in Tuen Mun, Sing Pao Daily reported.
The baby – born prematurely at 32 weeks – lived with her parents, a two-year-old brother and other family members, but she had appeared to be in good health.
The mother was understood to have fed the baby girl milk at about 1am before they fell sleep in bed together. At around 5am, the mother found the girl lying unconscious on the bed.
The infant was sent to Tuen Mun Hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after.
After an initial investigation, police said they believed there was no foul play involved, but the actual cause of death would have to be confirmed by an autopsy.
Dr Lilian Wong Hiu-lei, chairperson of Hong Kong Paediatric Foundation, said premature babies have a high risk of breathing problems and the risk is greater if the baby sleeps in the same bed with parents, Ming Pao Daily reported.
A baby can become trapped and suffocate between the headboard slats, the space between the mattress and the bed frame, or a baby can also suffocate if a sleeping parent accidentally rolls over and covers the baby’s nose and mouth.