September is National Infant Mortality Awareness Month and local experts say though the statistics are shocking, most of infant deaths are preventable.

About 14 babies die a year in Tulsa County from sleep-related deaths.

Hillcrest Medical Center officials said babies should be placed on their backs for sleep -- in an empty crib – no pillows, comforters or stuffed animals, which can block air to a baby.

"Babies are not strong, you know," Hillcrest Medical Center Neonatologist Dr. Lisa Owens said. "Their rib cage is not very strong. They can't continue to breathe if something is over their face."

Owens said co-sleeping is also dangerous because it is easy to roll over and smother the baby.