LOS ANGELES, Nov. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Baby Box Co., the company behind the global integrated program Baby Box University to improve maternal and infant healthcare outcomes, today announced that approximately one million Baby Boxes are in circulation globally through 2016 community programs to reduce infant mortality and increase maternal and child health. The Baby Box movement continues to accelerate this November with the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota, Berkshire County in Massachusetts, and San Antonio, Texas all adopting the Baby Box University program to help an additional 30,000+ moms and babies nationwide.
The Baby Boxes, which are made from a durable cardboard, can be used as a baby's bed for up to the first eight months of life. Replacing the need for the traditional Moses basket or cot, it is thought the small size of the Baby Box prevents babies from rolling onto their stomachs, which experts believe contributes to SIDS. According to a new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which draws on current research and serves as the first update to the Academy policy since 2011, approximately 3,500 infants die annually in the United States from sleep-related deaths, including sudden unexpected infant death (SUID); ill-defined deaths; and accidental suffocation and strangulation. The number of infant deaths initially decreased in the 1990s after a national safe sleep campaign, but has plateaued in recent years. The use of Baby Boxes has been credited with helping Finland achieve one of the world's lowest infant mortality rates. The initiative, which enables every expecting woman in the country to claim a free Baby Box once she receives prenatal care and parenting information from a healthcare professional, is credited with helping to decrease Finland's infant mortality rate from 65 deaths for each 1,000 children born in 1938 to 3 deaths per 1,000 births in 2013. The success of the Finnish Baby Box intervention inspired the founders of The Baby Box Co. to adapt this tradition with enhanced multi-media parenting curricula through Baby Box University to the benefit of nonprofits, hospitals, government institutions and individual families worldwide. The Baby Box University program's exponential growth has solidified the model as the most impactful safe sleep and parenting education intervention for millennials.