Why put Baltimore's babies in a cardboard box?

Why put Baltimore's babies in a cardboard box?

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - Shantell Roberts often visits the cemetery where her baby’s urn is kept.

Her child died years ago, but the emotion and the pain still feels raw.

It is one reason why she is motivated to help other parents, in hopes that they will never lose a child, too.

Roberts has a dream to give all parents of Baltimore newborns her "baby boxes.

Roberts explained: "We have a portable alternative crib, and this is the padding. It affords the parents the convenience of moving it around because its lightweight. [It] is secure and [has a] flat surface that is recommended."

For more information about Shantell Roberts project, Baby Boxes for Baltimore, and the grant she has received, click here.

The Johns Hopkins Social Innovation Lab explains Shantell Roberts “took the top prize in the group of 10 start-ups participating in the accelerator program with her idea for the PAC, short for 'Portable Alternative Crib.' It's a lightweight box designed to keep babies well-positioned for safe sleep, as a means of preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The crib, with a thin mattress at its bottom, is also stocked with other essential care items for mothers, such as diapers and swaddling blankets.”

However, The American Academy of Pediatrics finds that "currently, there is insufficient data on the role cardboard boxes play in reducing infant mortality."

“The Finnish baby box has captured attention in the past couple of years. Currently, there is insufficient data on the role cardboard boxes play in reducing infant mortality. Finland does experience a low infant mortality rate but they have never collected data on the possible role of cardboard boxes. There are many factors that may contribute to the country’s low infant mortality rate: women receive excellent prenatal care; there is very little smoking in the country; and almost all babies sleep on their backs. Currently, there are randomized controlled trials being conducted in New Zealand and Australia regarding the use of boxes (not necessarily cardboard boxes but flax or woven boxes). “


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