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Preventing infant death with a box

baby box.JPG
baby box.JPG

A local push to prevent sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, is now a statewide movement in Washington.

This comes on the heels of a new Centers for Disease report that shows 3,500 babies die every year from SIDS.

The Tears Foundation knows all too well that babies are dying from this accidental suffocation.

A stack of files sits on a desk in the Tears home office in Puyallup from families seeking financial or emotional support from the Tears Foundation.

It's a simple box that's in high demand right now and being distributed statewide by the Tears Foundation.

Tears social worker Shelley Castro touts its benefits. "It's pretty practical. It's pretty easy to set up," she explained.

The box comes from Finland, which started handing them out 75 years ago to all parents before they left the hospital with a newborn as a way to combat SIDS.

Finland now boasts the lowest infant mortality rate in the world.

Along with The Baby Box, comes training on the right way to put a baby to sleep.

“It really is as easy as ABC so make sure that baby is alone, on their backs and in a crib,” explained Castro.

The CDC in its new Vital Signs report says 22 percentof mothers say they do not put babies to sleep on their backs, which doctors say is safest to avoid accidental suffocation.

The report also found more than half of all mothers in the U.S. break the No. 1 rule to prevent accidental suffocation: They bring their babies to bed with them.

Michaela Tamayo, now expecting her second child admits, she did that with her first, but will never do it again.

"After doing more and more research over the years, that's just not a risk I'm willing to take. You know we were lucky with my son. Nothing ever happened, but it could have and having a safe sleep environment is very important,” said Tamayo.

Tamayo picked up a free baby box from the Tears Foundation, which can sit on the floor, right in the parent’s room, to keep baby at hand, but not in bed with them.

It doesn’t have to replace a crib, but it certainly can, especially for families who might not be able to afford a crib.

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