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Unsafe sleeping practices leading cause of infant deaths

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Across New York State, suffocation is the leading cause of unintentional deaths for children under the age of one.

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Credit WBFO News file photo
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Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein offered suggestions on how to keep infants safe.

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein says sleeping practices for newborns have changed over the past 10-20 years. To prevent suffocation, Burstein suggests babies should always be put to sleep on their backs.

"Another concept that's very important, and relatively new, is the naked crib concept. We know that, unfortunately, infants can suffocate very easily if there's loose bedding or loose clothing or even bumpers on the crib," Burstein said. 

Burstein says babies should sleep on firm mattress and never be taken to bed an adult.

Suffocation is the fourth leading cause of unintentional deaths for children ages one through four across the state.