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Will Florida Moms Soon Be Adopting 'Baby Boxes' For Their Newborns?

An example of a Baby Box
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Will Florida Moms adopt the “Baby Box?” The committee that reviews child abuse death cases is hoping that could be a successful effort to help Florida in the future, and got an update on that Wednesday.

The Baby Box

As part of Florida’s Healthy Babies Initiative, state health officials are looking into several projects to help cut down on the racial disparities in infant mortality. One such project is the Baby Box—very popular in Finland.

“So, every mother—it’s my understanding—in certain areas of Finland have been distributed this baby box for 75 years, which is a purposely built box specifically for sleeping with fitted mattresses and sheets, etc., and it looks like a box.”

Mike Mason with the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Minority Health adds it also includes supplies and products for the baby. And, the baby box is seen to have helped Finland with its infant mortality rates. So, health officials have a contract with Florida A and M university to conduct focus groups across the state about the baby box to try to evaluate its efficacy. That includes Gadsden, Jefferson, Duval, Hillsborough, and Brevard counties.

Project Safe Sleep

“Project Safe Sleep” is set to wrap up its preliminary findings at the end of this month and give that report to Florida Child Abuse Death Review Committee. The goal is to identify safe sleep approaches now used across Florida and reduce the risk of infant deaths. The Florida Department of Health’s Patty Armstrong says Project Safe Sleep is of particular interest to her fellow committee members.

“Really a lot of the buzz during the last call was about safe sleep because that is one our heavy hitters when it comes to fatalities,” she said. “Safe sleep, drowning, those two are the big ones.”

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner .

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