For the third time in a week, a city baby died from suffocation while sleeping in bed with a family member, cops said.
Bronx Mom Crystal Alleyne, 36, woke up to find 3-month-old Jernard Moore unconscious inside her apartment on Metropolitan Ave. in Parkchester at 3:50 a.m. Wednesday.
Medics rushed the infant to Jacobi Medical Center, where he died. Police believe Alleyne accidentally rolled on top of her son.
The newborn’s death comes a month into the city’s latest campaign to educate parents and caretakers about safe sleep practices for infants.
“My heart goes out to these families,” said Dr. Deborah Kaplan, the assistant commissioner for the Health Department’s Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health.
Each year, there are 40 to 50 babies lost to sleep related injuries, city records show.
The top causes are babies who were placed into their cribs on their stomachs, sides or with toys or a blanket. Infants who co-sleep in their siblings’ or parents’ beds are also at risk of death.
People in low-income neighborhoods in the Bronx and Brooklyn had much higher rates of sleep-related injury deaths, according to the data.
Two of the three deaths this week occurred in the Bronx. The other happened in Queens. In an effort to reduce the tragedies, the de Blasio administration has set aside $500,000 annually for a multifaceted education campaign.
The plan, in partnership with the city’s Administration for Children’s Services, includes a one-page “safe sleep” instructional flyer that will soon be mailed with every birth certificate.
“We are using every avenue,” said Lusta Phanord, the deputy director for the citywide safe sleep initiative.
The campaign will be featured in bus shelters, hair and nail salons, bodegas and laundromats in East and Central Harlem, throughout Brooklyn and the Bronx, as well as in parts of Queens and Staten Island.
ACS has also given out 902 cribs, 2,200 Pack N’ Plays, and 3,159 cribs that convert into toddler beds over the past fiscal year.
City health officials previously held focus groups with new parents and other family members to find out how to best educate them about sleeping hazards.
Parents explained that they wanted to know more about why some of the common practices were dangerous.
Taking that message to heart, the current campaign aims to educate parents.
“Stomachs seem more comfortable but it is fact more dangerous,” Kaplan said. “Their airways are pressed down on, even a little thing like a bumper or a stuffed animal, can suffocate them.”
Parents and older siblings also pose hazards. Last Thursday, a 4-month-old Bronx boy died after he got tangled beneath the legs of an older sibling he was sleeping beside, police said.
The infant, Urijah Murray, was in the same bed as his two siblings, ages 5 and 8. His mother discovered the tyke unconscious and pinned under the weight of the 8-year-old’s legs in their Morrisania apartment.
Relatives found little Anayah-Lynn Howard unconscious on her mom’s bed inside their apartment on 238th St. in Cambria Heights, Queens, at 6 a.m. last Saturday.
Cops believe the girl’s mother rolled on top of the infant while she slept, accidentally suffocating her.