Sleep-Related Infant Deaths Down in Janesville

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JANESVILLE, Wis. (AP) -- The Janesville Police Department's partnership with health care providers to prevent infant deaths under unsafe sleeping circumstances has made a significant difference. And for one police detective, it's personal.

From 2005 to 2010, a dozen babies less than a year old in Janesville died in their sleep. Police say that of those deaths, eight were sleeping on their stomachs and three were co-sleeping with a parent.

The infant deaths bothered police Detective Erik Goth who decided to do something about it. He started a partnership with area hospitals to teach prenatal classes that include safe sleeping practices. Detective Christopher Buescher, who lost a brother to sudden infant death syndrome in 1973, stepped in to help. Together Goth and Buescher teach about 50 classes a year.

The Janesville Gazette says that since 2011, Janesville has had no preventable, sleep-related infant deaths.

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