Doctors seeing a rise in infant deaths

The York County Coroner’s Office says they’re seeing more cases of sleep-related infant deaths in central Pennsylvania. They’ve seen more of these deaths so far this year than at any time in the past 10 years.

At a news conference at York Hospital, doctors gave their recommendations for protecting babies from these incidents.

“The things that we’ve been educating families about for keeping their baby in a safe sleep environment are not being followed as rigorously as they should be,” says Dr. Michael Goodstein of York Hospital.  “And the numbers of parents doing the safe sleep recommendation may actually be dropping.”

They say the baby’s sleep environment can cause accidental suffocation. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the leading cause of death for babies between one month and one year of age, and more than 90% of the time the baby was in an unsafe sleeping situation.

Doctors say the safest way for a baby to sleep in alone, on its back in a crib. It’s not safe for the baby to sleep in the parents’ bed.

The baby’s crib should have a firm mattress and just one cover, tucked in at the bottom and sides of the crib. There should not be any pillows, bumpers or toys in the crib. Don’t over-dress or over-bundle the baby.

For more information on creating a safe sleep environment for your baby, visit the Safe to Sleep campaign website.