Daily Court Reporter - News Ohio is second state to launch free baby box program
Ohio is second state to launch free baby box program
ELISSA COLLOPY, Daily Reporter Staff Writer
The Baby Box Co., a company that created the Baby Box University program, announced recently that Ohio is the second state to launch the program.
The program aims to improve family health care outcomes and reduce sudden unexpected infant death syndrome by making all expecting and new parents eligible for a free baby box after completing online parenting education.
The boxes, made from a durable cardboard, can be used as a baby's bed for the first months of life, according to the company.
Ohio has the seventh highest infant mortality rate in the nation.
According to the Ohio Infant Mortality Data report, Ohio'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.
To combat this, the statewide box program is being launched in collaboration with the Cincinnati Health Department, Richland County Health Department, University Hospitals, Muskingum Valley Health Centers and Babies Need Boxes, among other community health organizations.
This year, the Ohio program will distribute up to nearly 140,000 boxes annually, creating a level playing field for those expecting parents to this free resource of different socioeconomic backgrounds.
"Research tells us that two of the biggest contributors to sudden, unexplained infant death are premature birth and unsafe sleep arrangements," said Dr. Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, University Hospitals clinical diversity officer. "This phenomenal safe sleep space program for newborns will help hospitals and nonprofits provide optimal, safe care to all expecting families in Ohio."
While parents may appreciate the boxes and quality products included, it is the educational component and communication with local health care providers that is at the center of the baby box model, the company stated.
In the online education, families will be required to view their community's online curriculum related to prenatal health, breastfeeding, safe sleep practices and newborn care before receiving a free box.
Parents can register for free online at babyboxuniversity.com as an Ohio resident, including contact information and mailing address; then watch the 10 to 15 minute Ohio syllabus at babyboxuniversity.com, and after taking a short quiz, will receive a certificate of completion and be able to select local pick-up or direct delivery of your Baby Box.
"I'm so proud to empower new parents in Ohio with the physical and educational resources they need to feel confident," said Jennifer Clary, CEO of The Baby Box Co. "Every parent has a right to the necessary tools to care for their infant and every child deserves a safe and supported start in life."
The brands included in the box feature a scientifically proven baby-brain boosting activity parents can do while using the item.
The box also includes items like Pampers Swaddlers diapers and Pampers baby wipes, Vroom activity cards, Lansinoh breast pads and nipple cream for breastfeeding mothers, onesie and more.
"We are proud to be a part of the baby box programs, especially here in Ohio - Pamper's home state," said E. Yuri Hermida, vice president of North America Baby Care. "We share Baby Box Co.'s important mission to support expecting parents with health education, and support new babies with a safe sleep environment."
Date Published: March 22, 2017