New Law Will Provide ‘Baby Boxes’ For Newborns In D.C

July 13, 2017
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A bill that has been introduced by Ward 1 Council member Brianne K. Nadeau will provide all new parents in D.C. with a “baby box”.

This is in hopes of encouraging safe sleeping practices and reducing the District’s infant mortality rate.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the third leading cause of infant mortality.

“Providing a safe place for infants to sleep as well as resources for new parents will help District newborns grow up healthy and strong,” Nadeau said in a press release. “I want all new parents in the District to have the tools to ensure their infants are sleeping in the safest way possible. Baby boxes are a simple idea that could make a real difference in cutting infant mortality in the District.”

The boxes are lined with a firm mattress and a fitted sheet and they serve as a bassinet for infants and will come with essential items that could include diapers, wipes, and onesies.

Nadeau’s office says that the bill is modeled after the well-known program in Finland as well as recent initiatives in New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Alabama, Colorado, and Virginia who are also rolling out similar programs.

The bill also provides for education for new parents on safe sleeping arrangements for infants where training would be done online through an online platform called Baby Box University.

The District Department of Health would also work with local hospitals and with the foster system to ensure that those who need the boxes, get them.

In 2014, the latest year for which there is national data, D.C. had an infant mortality rate of 7.6 per 1,000 live births, several points higher than the 5.8 national average.

The bill also makes provision for funding to collect data on the program to gauge its effectiveness. In Finland, where the Baby Box has been in place since 1949, the infant mortality rate is 2 per 1,000 live births. However, it’s not clear how much of this is attributable to the boxes.

One Comment

  1. Virginia Concealed Carry Class

    August 17, 2017 at 11:27 am

    It’s such a great.

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