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posted: 11/18/2013 9:47 PM

Waukegan police discourage co-sleeping after baby deaths

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Three infant deaths in the past few weeks have Waukegan police discussing the issue of co-sleeping and nighttime safety.

Each of the three babies was under a year old, and all three deaths were believed to be related to "nighttime habits," Waukegan Cmdr. Joe Florip said.

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"In two cases, we don't have coroners reports back yet, but in all cases they are not criminal," he said. "They all have similar characteristics, and we want to help people avoid something that can be preventable."

Florip declined to detail the circumstances of the babies' deaths, but a communitywide push toward educating people about the safety of co-sleeping has begun.

"Whether I can say SIDS or co-sleeping or a parent rolling -- we're seeing the same types of characteristics in these deaths," he said. "If they had been in the proper crib and bedding, could these deaths have been prevented? I don't know. But if we can help educate at all, it can't hurt."

Although SIDS is unexplained, Waukegan officials say safe sleeping habits can help reduce the reduce the risk -- including placing babies on their backs to sleep on a firm surface covered by a fitted sheet. Florip also highly recommends room sharing over co-sleeping.

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