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New Jersey First To Launch Baby Boxes To Prevent SIDS, Lower Infant Mortality Rate

Update Date: Jan 28, 2017 10:30 AM EST
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On Thursday, New Jersey launched their universal baby box program that gives newborn babies and parents a sturdy, safe box with essentials. In partnership with The Baby Box Co., the program attempts to lower down infant mortality rates and help improve family health care.

Parents from New Jersey with infants that are less than 3 months old, can register for free online at babyboxuniverstiy.com. They just need to fill in their details and finish the online education program certification to be able to claim their box from a distribution partner or have it shipped.

Originally the baby boxes were derived from Finland in the 1930s. New Jersey has adapted the concept. The box serves as a sleeping space for the baby and includes newborn essentials.

According to CNN, Cooper University Healthcare and Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative distributed the boxes. It comes with a firm mattress, waterproof cover and fitted sheet. It also includes newborn essentials costing around $150, such as diapers, wipes, breast cream, breast pads, a onesie and an activity cart.

Baby Box Co. anticipated 105,000 births in New Jersey by the end of 2017 and planned to distribute the same number to ensure that every expecting family has one. The boxes are also available for $70 to $225 for people who live outside New Jersey.

ABC News reported the program will help make healthy and safe choices and aims to decrease the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). According to the Child Fatality & Near Fatality Review Board, 93 percent of infant deaths are because of SIDS, where the child's sleep environment plays a big factor.

If the program proves to be a success by the end of 2017, it will continue onwards for the years to come. Success is measured by parents' use of the boxes and improvements will be tracked through the state's health outcomes.

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