Health commissioner offers tips to keep infants safe

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The recent deaths of two infants was a result of being placed in a dangerous sleeping position, according to the Erie County Commissioner of Health.

“Parents and caregivers need to be aware that infants do not have the neck strength to move their heads or adjust their position when they cannot breathe,” states Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health.

She advises that parents should always place babies on their backs, shouldn’t use pillows and should never leave them unmonitored when they are not in their cribs.

Burstein is offering the public recommendations on how to keep their infants safe:

• Use a crib that meets current safety standards. The mattress should be firm and fit snuggly in the crib. Cover the mattress with only a tight-fitting crib sheet. Portable cribs and play yard style cribs are also good choices.

• Do not put anything soft, loose or fluffy in your baby’s sleep space. This includes pillows, blankets, comforters, bumper pads, stuffed animals or toys and other soft items (i.e., the “naked crib”).

• Use a wearable blanket or other type sleeper instead of blankets to keep your baby warm and safe.

• Never place your baby to sleep on top of any soft surface. This includes adult beds, sofas, chairs, waterbeds, pillows, cushions, comforters and sheepskins. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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