Minnesota officials link many sudden baby deaths to unsafe sleeping

Minnesota health officials say the majority of sudden unexplained infant deaths reported in the state in recent years are related to an unsafe sleeping environment.

Posted: Oct 10, 2019 10:16 AM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota health officials say the majority of sudden unexplained infant deaths reported in the state in recent years are related to an unsafe sleeping environment.

The Department of Health says its research shows 82 percent of 90 sudden infant deaths in 2016 and 2017 involved unsafe sleeping. Most involved babies who were not sleeping in cribs, or were sleeping with loose bedding or toys that were suffocation hazards.

The Star Tribune says then number of sudden unexplained infant deaths cases appears to be stable in Minnesota. The state recorded 58 in 2016, 32 in 2017 and 51 in 2018.

Hennepin Healthcare clinical supervisor Jennette Flynn says part of the problem can be parents who don't emphasize the importance of safe sleep practices when leaving their infants with relatives or child care providers.

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