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Unsafe sleep practices lead to 3500 infant deaths each year

Newborn babies sleep in a hospital nursery.
Newborn babies sleep in a hospital nursery. Photo: Tommaso Di Girolamo / AGF / UIG via Getty Images

After years of sharp declines in sleep-related infant deaths in the U.S., progress has slowed considerably, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns in a new report.

Key stat: Roughly 3,500 infants die from sleep-related issues in America annually. The causes range from SIDS and accidental suffocation in cribs to deaths from unknown causes. Despite intensive public education efforts, only half of mothers say they receive “safe sleep” advice from healthcare providers during pre- and post-natal visits, CDC said.