Baby boxes new trend to give newborns a safe place to sleep - FOX Carolina 21

Baby boxes new trend to give newborns a safe place to sleep

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

It's an alarming trend that's showing itself in both state and national numbers.  More infants dying, because of unsafe sleeping conditions.

In fact, in Greenville County alone, the Sheriff's Office says four infants have died in three weeks because they weren't sleeping in a safe place.

Martine Wilder is the Community Relations and Correspondence Director with the Greenville County Sheriff's Office.  “We are having an increase, a sudden increase, in infant deaths in relation to sleeping.  And it's alarming when you have four in a matter of a month, that's shocking.”

Now, some unusual methods are being tried, to make sure parents are educated.  One of those ideas, is using a cardboard box for the baby, better known as a Baby Box.

In New Jersey, Ohio and Alabama, those baby boxes are being handed out to new parents for free, to promote a safe sleeping message. 

South Carolina is not part of that right now, and Michelle Greco, with Greenville Health System, says more research needs to be done to make sure the boxes are safe. 

“In South Carolina it's a topic we talk about daily right now.  More information needs to be had, more data, more research. There are concerns about safety.  There is a lid on the box, so you have to educate people not to put the lid on the box (with a baby in it), but there's no real data that says are these really effective, are they proven to be safe.”

Infant safety advocates like Greco say they will continue to push to educate new parents about safe sleeping habits for their newborns.

“A lot of times at the death scenes and after the interviews, we've heard the family say, ‘this is the first time I did it,’ or ‘I did it a couple times but I never thought it would happen to me.’  So it's just always making sure if you are tired, and you are bringing the baby in the bed to feed, making sure someone else is up with you, to make sure you don't fall asleep.”

The Sheriff's Office also tells us they are working on a public service announcement with GHS and other community leaders to make sure the public is aware that babies need to sleep alone, on their backs and in a crib or bassinet.

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