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High Infant Death Rate Sounds An Alarm

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio (Paula Toti) -- A local family's heartbreak is pointing to an alarming trend.

Police say a 6-week-old baby died Tuesday due to co-sleeping.

The University of Cincinnati Medical Center is just one hospital working to educate the community that its not safe to nap or sleep with your baby.  The child in this current case was sleeping with a parent. 

The group, Cradle Cincinnati, says hearts go out to the family grieving Tuesday night.  This case has once again sounded an alarm.

16 babies died last year in Hamilton County from co-sleeping.

There are many reasons families aren't processing the message to let babies sleep alone in a crib.

"One we hear a lot is, 'This is how I was put to sleep.' But that was 20-30 years ago. We've learned a lot since then."

Cradle Cincinnati preaches the message of Safe Sleep ABCs.

"Every baby should sleep alone, on its back and in a crib. Its not appropriate to sleep with a baby, it can pose a danger to the baby."

Co-sleeping deaths tend to rise in winter. Parents may think they are helping to keep a child warm. 

The deaths are two and a half times more likely in the African American community. 

A book was written recently by a parent whose baby died in 2010 while the two were sleeping together on a sofa. It talks about a safe crib being free of big fuzzy blankets and stuffed toys.

"So this book is getting the message out in a family friendly way about what a safe environment is."

In October, the book along with onesies that say, "This Side Up," were given to all new moms in Hamilton County as part of an education effort to prevent heartbreak. 

In especially young babies neck muscles are weak and they cant roll over if they are smothered in a blanket, cushion, or against a parent.

Video HERE



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