Unsafe sleep habits contribute to rise in infant deaths in SC

11/03/2013 12:00 AM

11/02/2013 7:36 PM

The number of accidental infant deaths jumped 36 percent in 2012, prompting state health officials to stress the need for proper infant sleep practices.

The number of accidental infant deaths in the state rose from 30 in 2011 to 41 in 2012, ending four consecutive years in which the number of accidental deaths dropped. Of the 2012 deaths, 39 involved accidental suffocation or strangulation in beds, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The overall infant mortality rate in South Carolina saw a slight increase, from 7.4 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011 to 7.6 deaths in 2012, due in part to the substantial increase in sleep-related accidents.

“Most of these accidents can be prevented with safe sleep practices,” said Dr. Lisa Waddell, deputy director of Preventive Health Services at DHEC.

Waddell suggested parents follow the ABCs of safe sleep: Leave your baby Alone on its Back in its Crib.

For more safe sleep tips, go online to http://www.cdc.gov/sids/ Parents-Caregivers.htm

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