Ohio launches Baby Box program to improve infant mortality rate

Ohio launches Baby Box program

 The Baby Box Co., the company behind the global integrated program Baby Box University to improve family health-care outcomes and reduce Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome (SUIDS), today announced that Ohio is the second U.S. state to launch a universal program where all expecting and new parents can receive a free Baby Box by completing online parenting education.

Ohio currently ranks 43 out of 50 states for the most significant infant mortality rates across the nation.

According to 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 -- with black infants in Ohio dying at nearly three times the rate as white infants.

To combat this, the statewide Ohio Baby Box program is being launched in partnership with the Cincinnati Health Department, Richland County Health Department, University Hospitals (UH) MacDonald Women’s and Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospitals, Muskingum Valley Health Centers, and Babies Need Boxes among other community health organizations.

In 2017, the Ohio program will distribute up to approximately 140,000 Baby Boxes annually, insuring that every expecting family in Ohio has access to this free resource regardless of socio-economic background.

“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, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

“This phenomenal safe sleep space program for newborns will help hospitals and nonprofits provide optimal, safe care to all expecting families in Ohio. We are grateful that The Baby Box Co. and Babies Need Boxes Ohio share in our mission to improve outcomes for mothers and their babies and to help solve the infant mortality crisis,” she said.

The Baby Boxes, which are made from a durable cardboard, can be used as a baby’s bed for the first months of life.

Parents appreciate the box and quality care products included. It is the educational component and closer communication with local healthcare providers that is at the center of the Baby Box University distribution model.

Families are required to view their community’s online curriculum related to prenatal health, breastfeeding, safe sleep practices and newborn care before receiving a free Baby Box.

Experts at UH MacDonald Women’s and UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s hospitals in Cleveland helped develop the Baby Box University syllabus for Ohio parents and today gave out the first ten baby boxes to expecting and new moms. 

The Richland County Health Department in Mansfield also received Baby Boxes.

“Richland Public Health supports this collaborative approach to educate families and safeguard the health and well-being of our babies,” said Richland Public Health Commissioner, Martin Tremmel. “The Baby Box Co. recognizes that a safe sleep environment coupled with parenting education is vital to provide to all families.” 

It takes only 3 easy steps for Ohio’s expecting and new parents to get their free Baby Box:

1.      Register for free online at babyboxuniversity.com as an Ohio resident. Be sure to include your correct contact information, including mailing address.

2.      Watch the 10-15 minute Ohio syllabus at babyboxuniversity.com. After taking a short quiz, you will receive a certificate of completion and be able to select local pick-up or direct delivery of your Baby Box.

3.      If you select direct delivery, your Baby Box will ship to the address you provided when you registered on Baby Box University. If you select local pick up, bring your Baby Box University certificate to the closest participating distribution partner to collect 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, the CEO of The Baby Box Co., which is supplying Ohio with the Baby Boxes and Baby Box University memberships.

”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 Baby Boxes are also committed to the program’s education mission, with every product featuring a scientifically proven baby brain-boosting activity parents can do while using the item.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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