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Westchester County Fights Infant Deaths With Safe Sleeping Campaign

(credit: Handout)

(credit: Handout)

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Westchester County officials are warning new parents about the threat to infants from sleeping in unsafe settings.

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said Tuesday that 26 of 63 infant deaths investigated since 2006 turned out to involve unsafe sleeping environments.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports

A new six-minute video for parents and other caregivers stresses that a baby should sleep alone, in a crib, on his or her back.

Unsafe conditions include pillows, stuffed animals or inappropriate bedding. Advocates also advise against putting a baby to sleep with others in an adult bed.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reports

Adults should not consume substances that make them less than alert, especially before bedtime.

Dr. Jennifer Canter, the Director of Child Protection at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center, is herself a mother of four and has some advice for parents who want to keep their babies at arm’s length at night.

“They can still follow the ABC’s of safe sleeping by having the baby be in a portable crib next to their bed,” Canter told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller.

Canter said the guidelines for safe sleeping are relatively new but should be adopted by all parents.

“We all grew up sleeping on our tummies and we’re OK.  But over time, the medical community, using evidence-based research, has learned more and more,” Canter told Miller.

Eight Westchester hospitals will show the video in maternity wards and parenting classes, and will post it on their websites.

“We know that these deaths were preventable and that is why we are committed to communicating this potentially life-saving information before the new parent or parents leave the hospital,” DiFiore said.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)