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Safer sleep: Hundreds of infants die sleep-related deaths in Tennessee

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -

Three years ago, six kindergarten classes' worth of Tennessee babies died in their sleep.

That's the unit of measurement Dr. Michael Warren has used while trying to draw more attention to a major factor in the state's bleak infant mortality rate: Unsafe sleeping conditions.

One in five infant deaths in Tennessee is due to preventable causes, such as suffocation or strangulation while sleeping, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

"In a given year we have close to 600 overall infant deaths, and there are many causes for that," said Warren, director of maternal and child health for the department. "But about 20 percent of our infant deaths were preventable sleep-related deaths."

Read more from our news partner the Times Free Press.

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