On Thursday, New Jersey became the first state to launch a baby box program with the purpose of reducing newborn infant mortality rates.

Baby box programs originated in Finland, where new parents are eligible for receiving a box full of goods to take care of their child, which can also serve as a secure crib for the baby’s first months. Depending on its success, the program will be carried out throughout 2017 with the expectation of improving the life expectancy of newborns.

All expecting parents living in New Jersey are eligible to receive a Baby Box. Image Credit: ABC News

Keep your child in a box

Baby Box Co. will manufacture the boxes under the sponsorship of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The main reason behind the decision is the events known as Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SUID, which happens to infants younger than one year.

According to the CDC, in 2014 there were at least 3,500 SUID events in the United States. The cause of death must also not be immediately obvious before an analysis is performed.

The most common cause of SUID is accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed due to unsafe bed sheets and similar items within a baby’s crib. The CDC reports that the most common causes for accidental suffocation are soft bedding, such as when a pillow covers the baby’s nose and mouth. Also, when another person rolls on top of the baby while sleeping or when the child is trapped between two large objects and when the baby’s head becomes trapped between crib railings. are typical examples of a SUID.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests that babies should not have anything in their proximity that could cover their head, including blankets and pillows. Loose bedding and toys should be taken away from the sleeping area, and they should always be put on their back for sleeping while wearing a one-piece attire. Newborn babies should always sleep next to their parents but never in an adult bed or couch, alone or with another person.

Reportedly, the box alongside its contents will come with items worth a total of $150. Over 100,000 baby boxes will be distributed in New Jersey over the course of 2017, and furthermore, they will be free, so there is no need of worrying about insurance or additional costs.

The boxes will come with a firm mattress, a waterproof cover, a fitted sheet, diapers, breast pads, a onesie, breast cream, and an activity cart.

To sign up for a box, parents must visit babyboxuniversity.com and fill out the registration form. New Jersey residents must confirm their place of residency, then watch a program and complete a quiz to ensure the program officials that they understand how to use their baby box.

Then they will be prompted to collect the box at their nearest distribution center or having it directly shipped to their home location.

The boxes will also be available to people living outside the state, starting at $70.

Source: CNN