- Associated Press - Monday, January 5, 2015

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky health officials say it’s important to follow recommended safe sleep practices for infants, especially during cold weather.

Dr. Ruth Ann Shepherd is director of the Kentucky Department for Public Health Division of Maternal and Child Health. She says the infant mortality rate is higher in Kentucky than the national average, partly due to sleep-related events that safe sleep practices may have prevented.

Shepherd says second-hand smoke can contribute to sudden, unexplained infant death.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends putting infants to sleep on their backs in a crib, bassinet or play yard in the parents’ room but not in the parents’ bed. Also keep the area free of soft toys or other objects. The academy also says breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS.

For more information, visit https://www.nichd.nih.gov/sts/Pages/default.aspx .

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