New Jersey distributing free baby boxes to slash infant mortality rates

New Jersey distributing free baby boxes to slash infant mortality rates

A newly-launched universal baby box program will provide all babies born in New Jersey this year with free ‘safe boxes’ to sleep in and additional newborn essentials.

Cooper University Hospital rolled out the Baby Boxes program as part of a safe-sleeping campaign designed to decrease the number of babies dying from so-called Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome (SUIDS).

The cardboard boxes come with a firm mattress, fitted sheet and a waterproof cover. Recipients are also receiving diapers, wipes, breast pads, breast cream, and an activity cart.

Satu Korkohen, mother of 2-week-old Emma from Helsinki, praised the initiative, saying it provided clues to good parenting.

Speaking on the topic, Korkohen added, “The products inside as well as the box itself are clues to good parenting. Once you see the tiny baby nail scissors, you start wondering how often you need to use them, or the bath thermometer. It is emotionally very comforting to have the essentials ready…”

California-based Baby Box Co. paired up with N.J.’s Child Fatality & Near Fatality Review Board on a grant from the Centers of Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) in order to decrease SUIDS and improve family health care.

The baby box program follows the example of Finland, which has had a similar program in place since the 1930s. In the U.S., an estimated 3,500 deaths from SUIDS and other sleep-related issues occur each year.


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