New Jersey first state to launch universal baby box program

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New Jersey's Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board has partnered with the Baby Box Company to distribute durable cardboard boxes filled with items for newborns, according to Philly Voice.

The baby box, which can also serve as a bed during the first two months of an infant's life, was created to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. In addition to providing parents with a safe sleeping space for their child and essential items like diapers and baby wipes, the baby box program also aims to educate parents on newborn care. Prior to receiving the box, expectant parents must first register online, review curriculum on newborn care and take a short quiz.

The roots of the Baby Box Company's concept can be traced back to Finland where, for more than 75 years, the state has delivered newborn starter kits in the form of boxes to expectant mothers. Finland currently has the lowest infant mortality rate in the world with 1.3 deaths per 1,000 births. The United States ranks 23rd in the world in infant mortality with 6.5 deaths per 1,000 births.

The program launched on Thursday, making New Jersey the first state in the U.S. to offer a universal baby box program to its residents, according to Philly Voice.

The Baby Box Company was founded in Los Angeles in 2013 and currently serves 12 countries.

To learn more about baby boxes, click here.

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