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NM launches ‘designated caregiver’ campaign

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico health officials say the risks of sudden unexpected infant deaths can be higher during the New Year’s holiday.

So the Department of Health is urging parents to pick a “designated caregiver” for their babies during the holiday season.

The department is pointing to a national study that found designating a caregiver may be just as important as picking a designated driver.

Researchers at the University of California found that alcohol was a risk factor for sudden unexpected infant deaths, and that parental decision-making capacity is significantly impaired by the excessive use of alcohol.

State health officials say there were 86 cases of unexpected infant deaths in New Mexico between 2009 and 2012. That’s an average of one every 13 days.

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