By The Associated Press
(02/23/05 - NEW ORLEANS, LA) Rocking your baby to sleep in a mechanical swing may trigger a deadly attack on the child by the family dog, a coroner warns.

At least two such deaths have been documented in Maryland over a four-year period, Dr. Albert Y. Chu of the state's medical examiner's office said Wednesday at a meeting in New Orleans of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

The back-and-forth motion may activate the dog's instinct to chase prey, he said.

"Think about dogs chasing cars or tennis balls. They can't control their behavior -- they just go," he said.

In 2003, a 2-week-old boy was dragged from his swing and killed by the family's pit bull in Baltimore after the baby's mother left him to answer the front door. In Edgemere, Md., in 1999, a 3-month-old boy was mauled to death as his parents slept in another room.

...Everyone interviewed agreed on one thing: Do not leave even the most trusted pet alone with a baby.

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