Kansas infant death rate from asphyxia doubled in 3 years

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A new report shows that the rate of Kansas infants dying from a lack of oxygen has more than doubled in just three years.

The Wichita Eagle reports that the Kansas State Child Death Review Board's analysis of 2016 child deaths found that 20 children died from unintentional asphyxia, such as suffocation, strangulation or choking. The finding is a small fraction of the state's 394 child deaths in 2016, but the rate of death from asphyxia has grown steadily since 2013.

Sixteen of the 20 Kansas asphyxia deaths involved a child less than 1 year old, while 17 of the deaths were sleep-related.

State figures show the majority of sleep-related deaths occurred when a child wasn't sleeping in a crib or bassinet, but instead sharing a sleeping surface with another person.