By Kaitlin SchroederDayton Daily News

DAYTON, Ohio — Two babies in Montgomery County have died in their sleep so far this year and five more infants are suspected of dying from unsafe sleep practies, pending confirmation.

Following the tragedies, public health officials are emphasizing the safest way for babies to sleep are alone, on their back and in a crib.

“It only takes one time for tragedy to strike,” said Jewell Good, assistant director of Montgomery County Children Services. “We can all do our part to prevent these senseless deaths.”

Experts recommend that infants sleep on firm mattresses in their own cribs or bassinets but in their parents’ room for the first year. A tight-fitting top sheet is the only crib bedding recommended, to avoid suffocation or strangulation.

Accidental suffocation is a leading cause of injury deaths in U.S. infants and common scenarios involve blankets, bed-sharing with parents and other unsafe sleep practices, an analysis of government data found earlier this year.

Among 250 suffocation deaths, roughly 70 percent involved blankets, pillows or other soft bedding that blocked infants’ airways. Half of these soft bedding-related deaths occurred in an adult bed where most babies were sleeping on their stomachs.

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