Ohio Launches Universal Baby Box Program to Improve State's Ranking as 43 out of 50 States for Highest Infant Deaths in the Nation

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CLEVELAND, March 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Baby Box Co., the company behind the global integrated program Baby Box University to improve family health-care outcomes and reduce Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome (SUIDS), today announced that Ohio is the second U.S. state to launch a universal program where all expecting and new parents can receive a free Baby Box by completing online parenting education.

CLEVELAND, March 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Baby Box Co., the company behind the global integrated program Baby Box University to improve family health-care outcomes and reduce Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome (SUIDS), today announced that Ohio is the second U.S. state to launch a universal program

Ohio currently ranks 43 out of 50 states for the most significant infant mortality rates across the nation. According to Ohio Infant Mortality Data report, Ohio's infant mortality rate rose to 7.2 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015, compared to 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2014 -- with black infants in Ohio dying at nearly three times the rate as white infants.

To combat this, the statewide Ohio Baby Box program is being launched in partnership with the Cincinnati Health Department, Richland County Health Department, University Hospitals (UH) MacDonald Women's and Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospitals, Muskingum Valley Health Centers, and Babies Need Boxes among other community health organizations. In 2017, the Ohio program will distribute up to approximately 140,000 Baby Boxes annually, ensuring that every expecting family in Ohio has access to this free resource regardless of socioeconomic background.

"Research tells us that two of the biggest contributors to sudden, unexplained infant death are premature birth and unsafe sleep arrangements," says Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, MD, UH Clinical Diversity Officer and Associate Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "This phenomenal safe sleep space program for newborns will help hospitals and nonprofits provide optimal, safe care to all expecting families in Ohio. We are grateful that The Baby Box Co. and Babies Need Boxes Ohio share in our mission to improve outcomes for mothers and their babies and to help solve the infant mortality crisis."

The Baby Boxes, which are made from a durable cardboard, can be used as a baby's bed for the first months of life. While parents appreciate the Baby Boxes and quality care products included, it is the educational component and closer communication with local healthcare providers that is at the center of the Baby Box University distribution model. Families will be required to view their community's online curriculum related to prenatal health, breastfeeding, safe sleep practices and newborn care before receiving a free Baby Box. In this way, the Baby Box University program model pays its ultimate homage to the Finnish tradition, which is committed not just to universal product distribution, but to supporting families with access to healthcare and education.

Hospitals and Nonprofits to Hold Launch Events Across Ohio to Give Away First Baby Boxes

Experts at UH MacDonald Women's and UH Rainbow Babies & Children's hospitals in Cleveland helped develop the Baby Box University syllabus for Ohio parents and are hosting a special Baby Box launch event open to all new and expecting families on Friday, March 10 at 10:30 a.m. in the Atrium at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center (valet parking available at the main entrance of UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, 2101 Adelbert Rd., Cleveland OH 44106). To find out more details about the Cleveland event visithttps://www.facebook.com/events/1846292352297309/.

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