At the beginning of the year, New Jersey became the first state in the United States to employ an effective system to put an end to one of the leading causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Inspired by nations like Finland, who have implemented the distribution of baby boxes since the early 1900s, New Jersey’s Child Fatality Review Board implemented the distribution of boxes filled with infant necessities that can serve as safe sleeping environments. The United States as a whole has struggled throughout its history with the lowering of infant mortality rates. As a result of drastically improved medical innovations and safe medical facilities, the infant mortality rate in the United States has declined consistently on an annual basis. One area that is difficult to reduce, however, is the area of infant mortality due to SIDS. SIDS is not complete understood by the medical community and its causes may vary, but it has always been thought to be heavily correlated with the use of inappropriate bedding, decorations, and sleep environments for infants. Unsafe cribs and objects such as toys or stuffed animals have contributed heavily to the death of infants due to SIDS, and states like New Jersey are actively working to eliminate this problem through the delivery of baby boxes.
Baby boxes are little more than simple cardboard boxes that are filled with informative health pamphlets designed to educate parents about the dos and don’ts of infant care and sleeping arrangements. Companies like the Baby Box Company are missionary involved in the furthering of educational resources to parents of infants in an effort to reduce the infant mortality rate in the United States and abroad. According to the New Jersey Child Fatality Review Board, the information that is found inside of the heavily distributed baby boxes can be more beneficial to the protection of American infants than the boxes themselves. The simply designed, cardboard baby boxes are actually easy for parents to make themselves, but the delivery of these boxes along with educational resources makes the boxes more likely to be used by a larger percentage of the New Jersey population. The state of New Jersey is set to add more residents to the list of parents registered to receive baby boxes by the end of the year.