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Unsafe infant sleeping practices in Erie County

Posted: 6:14 PM, May 09, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-10 08:05:23-04

According to Erie County Executive Office, four kids died in 2015 from unsafe sleeping.

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said many of these deaths are linked to co-sleeping. Co-sleeping is when a parent and infant sleep in the same bed.

"A parent should not bring a baby in to sleep with them. Because it can be dangerous when a parent falls asleep and could roll over them or something of course sleep position and the baby suffocating," Burstein said.

Miriam Silkes is a mother who doesn't find co-sleeping to be an issue. She said it's a convenient way for her to bond and breastfeed her baby boy.

"I rock him to sleep. Then once he's sleep I put him down in my bed," Silkes said.

Health experts claim that co-sleeping is one of the leading causes of death among babies 4-months-old and younger. There are many organization throughout western New York trying to bring awareness to how dangerous it can be.

Dr. Burstein said you should do the following things to make sure your baby sleeps safely:

  • Check to see that the bedding for your baby is safe.
  • Do not sleep with your baby, especially if you have been using alcohol or drugs.
  • Always place infants on their backs to sleep. The child will breathe easier and this may help prevent SIDS

New York lawmakers are looking at making it mandatory that parents will have to watch an informational video on safe sleeping practices before going home from the hospital with newborns. Currently that bill is stalling the State Senate.