Possible sleep-related infant deaths up in Pinellas

- This year there have already been eight infant deaths, possibly related to unsafe sleep practices, in Pinellas County according to numbers obtained by the Tampa Bay Times. 

There were 10 in all of 2016.

The circumstances vary but most can be tied back to unsafe sleeping practices - though why it’s happening now is unclear.  

In their latest sleep recommendations, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants sleep in the same bedroom as their parents but on a separate surface, like a crib or bassinet. Infants should never sleep on a soft surface like a couch or armchair.

“The highest risk is going to be in the first four to six months, when your baby can't roll over on its own,” said FOX 13’s Dr. Joette Giovinco.

Co-sleeping, an old tradition among some parents, is considered by experts to be a no-no today.

Roughly 3,500 kids every year succumb to a sleep-related death, including sudden infant death syndrome.

The easiest thing to do is have a Pack-N-Play next to your bed where your child sleeps alone…make sure no hazards within that child's sleeping area,” said Dr. Jo.

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