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State

90 Illinois children died of neglect, abuse in 2012

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services says neglect and abuse killed 90 children in the state last year and almost half were infants who died in unsafe sleeping conditions.

Department spokesman Dave Clarkin said Thursday the total could rise. More than 60 2012 death investigations are still pending.

Clarkin says 40 of the children were infants who suffocated while sleeping with parents, with blankets or on their stomachs. All of those practices are dangerous.

Clarkin says the department has worked hard to warn young mothers but now needs to try to reach grandmothers. He says young moms overwhelmingly go to their own mothers for parenting advice.

Homicides were the second-largest category of deaths. Twenty-two of the neglect and abuse deaths were homicides.

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