Ohio’s Baby Box program, which includes a durable cardboard box that can be used as a baby’s bed for the first months of life, launched earlier this year with local partners including University Hospitals (UH) MacDonald Women’s and Rainbow Babies & Children’s hospitals to distribute boxes to parents.
The program launched to help battle a rise in infant mortality rates. According to a Ohio Infant Mortality Data report, the state’s infant mortality rate rose to 7.2 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015, compared to 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2014.
“Research tells us that two of the biggest contributors to sudden, unexplained infant death are premature birth and unsafe sleep arrangements,” says Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, MD, UH Clinical Diversity Officer and Associate Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
New parents who are interested in receiving the free baby box can visit babyboxuniversity.com for more information. Oct. is SIDS Awareness Month. On Tuesday, October 3, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital (2101 Adelbert Road, Cleveland) will be distributing baby boxes to patients, visitors and staff.