SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today The Baby Box Co. announced the launch of the Universal Safe Sleep program in San Francisco as a critical first step in reducing infant mortality. This new program is free to the expecting and new parents of the expected 13,000 newborns in San Francisco over the course of the next year.
This program is focused on reducing the infant mortality rate in the U.S. which is at a staggering 6.5 percent in 2015 which is worse than all EU countries, Japan, South Korea, Australia and even Cuba. 1 The innovative new program combines the new Baby Box University information platform for new parents along with the proven safety of the Baby Box. Empowering parents and families with essential information for them to properly care for newborns is the heart of this new initiative. The launch of the Universal Safe Sleep Program in the U.S. begins in S.F., but Baby Box Co. has plans to expand throughout the U.S. and the world. The company already has made significant progress internationally, with national Baby Box program roll-outs well under way in Canada, UK, and Ireland. This program is made possible through the leadership of the Baby Box Co. and partnership with Wu Yee Children's Services, Head Start, Bezos Family Foundation, TAPP, and Compass Family Services among multiple other local health services to launch in San Francisco. The universal safe sleep program is accessible to all expecting and new San Francisco parents regardless of socioeconomic status, and the Baby Boxes are available for pickup from more than a dozen certified locations in San Francisco. Jennifer Clary, CEO of The Baby Box Co. said, "We're delighted to launch the Universal Safe Sleep Program here in San Francisco, a birthplace of invention and a model of diversity, to support families with the trusted Baby Box and free access to health and education materials with Baby Box University. Every child deserves a safe and nurturing start in life, so we are supporting mothers and fathers with the tools they need to keep babies safe and healthy when they are most vulnerable." The use of Baby Boxes helped Finland achieve one of the world's lowest infant mortality rates. The Finnish initiative enables every pregnant woman in the country to claim a free Baby Box once she receives prenatal care and parenting information from a healthcare professional. The program helped decrease Finland's infant mortality rate from 65 deaths for each 1,000 children born in 1938 to 2.26 deaths per 1,000 births in 2015. In addition to the Baby Box, the American founders of The Baby Box Co. went a step further by creating an enhanced multi-media parenting curricula called Baby Box University. The Baby Box University is a comprehensive maternal and childcare education platform, available from pregnancy onwards. Developed with leading medical experts from around the world, Baby Box University enables each of its healthcare partners to customize the educational content to suit local need. Available via video in a variety of languages, the content transcends the literacy and language barriers that can be challenging in diverse populations. It is available online at www.babyboxuniversity.com. "The Baby Box Universal Safe Sleep Program promotes infant safety in a relatable way for parents who are online interacting," said California mom Vanessa Eckert. "Not a day goes by now that I don't see my friends' babies snoozing safely in their Baby Boxes in my Facebook feed. It's cool to know that we all are starting with the same program and sleep space for our babies. It's a beautiful symbol and tradition that's great for all families to have." The Baby Boxes themselves, which are made from durable cardboard and come with a firm mattress, waterproof mattress cover, and fitted cotton sheet, are traditionally used in Finland as a baby's bed for up to the first eight months of life. The Baby Boxes also come filled with additional childcare resources like Pampers Swaddlers diapers, Pampers baby wipes, Lansinoh breast pads and nipple cream, onesie, baby lotion, waterproof diaper tote bag, and educational Vroom brain-building activity cards from The Bezos Family Foundation. Participants in the safe sleep program receive a Baby Box that contains the following items: