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After 5-year surge, infant deaths in Minn. child care centers fall

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A surge in the number of infant deaths in Minnesota child care centers has tapered off.

Minnesota's Human Services Department reports that in the last nine months only one baby has died while in child care. For five years beginning in 2007, the state was averaging 10 deaths per year.

The Pioneer Press reports state officials have stepped up rule enforcement and are promoting safe sleep practices for infants. Those practices involve putting babies on their backs to sleep and keeping the area free of stuffed animals, blankets or loose bedding.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is promoting those habits and influencing state licensing standards with its Back to Sleep and Bare is Best campaigns.

There's been some backlash against those policies. Huffington Post visited Texas, where some care providers in the habit of wrapping babies in blankets are frustrated by the rules.

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