(WBNG) — A recent study shows almost half of infant deaths between 2015 and 2017 in New York state were related to unsafe sleep practices.
Local health professionals say you should be careful how you put your baby to sleep.
“No toys, no bumpers, no blankets, which right now, at this time of year, it’s bitterly cold, blankets are a challenge, people want to cover their babies up, best bet is in layers, blanket sleeper,” said Barbara Bilbrey, a Public Health Nurse with the Tioga County Public Health Department.
Experts say babies can easily suffocate on what they find close to them.
“Their bodies do not respond to the sense that there are asphyxiating, that their oxygen levels are low and they can not get their face away to get fresh air,” said Bilbrey.
Rachel Leri, the Community Health Coordinator at Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network says numbers continue to go up throughout the years.
“The rates of other sleep related deaths, those caused my suffocation, strangulation, those have actually increased,” said Leri.
It’s been recommended to have babies sleep on their stomachs, then their sides, and now it’s their backs.
“As research increases, our knowledge increases and it changes and that is the current safest way for a baby to sleep,” said Leri.
Health officials say it’s best to have babies in their own bed.
“It’s very tempting to keep them next to you in bed but that is the biggest problem,” said Bilbrey. “A very tired parent can and has rolled onto an infant and killed them without meaning to.”
“You can have one of the bassinets next to the parent so you can still have your baby sleeping very, very close to you, right next to you, but just in their own separate space,” said Leri.