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Parents warned about unsafe sleeping situations

Pediatrician: Put babies to sleep in 'ugly' cribs

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SAN ANTONIO – Child Protective Services is warning parents about potentially unsafe sleeping situations for their babies.

Pillows, blankets and stuffed animals are just a few of the items often found inside a baby's crib and experts say they could be putting babies in life-threatening situation.

"Unfortunately, I can tell you we see infants seriously injured and even dying in unsafe sleeping environments," said Dr. Jennifer Clark, with the Children's Hospital of San Antonio.

Cluttered cribs can result in suffocation, strangulation and entrapment.

"Have an ugly crib or play pen," she said. "'Ugly' means there's none of those cute stuffed animals and pretty blankets -- nothing inside except for the baby," Clark said.

Unsafe sleeping conditions can also be found outside the crib.

"These infants died after being placed to sleep in adult pillow-top beds, air mattresses, couches, recliners or other soft surfaces. These soft surfaces create an environment where there is not enough oxygen," said Clark.

According to Clark, 19 healthy infants died in unsafe sleeping-related deaths last year.

"Infants should be placed on there back, alone, (and) on a firm, level sleeping surface that's meant for them. No bed-sharing for adults and other children," Clark said.

Child Protective Services Regional Director Sherry Gomez said its a growing problem around the state.

"When you are a new parent, you are learning so much. You are trying to figure out the best way to feed your baby, to clothe your baby, to take care of the crying -- and safe sleep is another important message," Gomez said.