DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Wayne County officials are planning courses and other initiatives to combat infant deaths caused by unsafe sleeping.

The county’s health department said Monday that it’s launching safe-sleep classes and workshops in January at multiple locations for new parents or caregivers. The department also plans to hold demonstrations at health fairs and baby showers.

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A state grant will provide money for an instructor.

Officials say suffocation due to unsafe sleeping environments was the leading cause of accidental death for babies in the county in 2012, and it continues to be this year.

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Health officials say the deaths are tragic but preventable. Steps include placing a baby to sleep alone in a crib on his or her back, and keeping sleeping areas free of blankets, animals and other objects.

For more information, visit www.co.wayne.mi.us/SafeSleep.

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