After 5-year surge, infant deaths in Minn. child care centers fall - Bring Me The News

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


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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Cost of child care exceeds college tuition in Minn.

A new national report shows it costs more to place an infant in a Minnesota day care center than a year of state college tuition, the Star Tribune reports. The advocacy group Child Aware of America names Minnesota the nation's second costliest state for center-based day care. The newspaper writes one year of infant care in a center cost $13,579 in Minnesota, while one year for a preschooler cost $10,470. In 17 states, a year of infant care cost less than $8,000.

2 Twin Cities child-care providers where infants died shut down by state

Public records reveal that two child-care centers that failed to follow safe-sleep practices where infants died this year have been shut down by state regulators. A Carver County licensing inspector has also been found at fault for not following through on sanctions in one of the cases, which was discovered just days before an infant's death.