MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama kicks off a new campaign to combat sudden infant deaths Wednesday, and it starts with a cardboard box. It's called the Baby Box Safe Sleep
Alabama is teaming up with the Baby Box Company to offer free Baby Boxes to families of newborns.
"You've got the box, the well-fitted mattress, the well-fitted sheet and the baby," explained Freda Center, an Advanced Nursing Coordinator at UAB. "That's all that should be in there. When the baby is put down to sleep, there should be no blanket, no pillow, no bumper pads, no soft little toys, nothing."
New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the infant death rate is d ropping nationwide, but not in Alabama. Officials say a majority of those deaths are due to unsafe sleep practices like co-sleeping, when a baby sleeps in an adult bed with parents or other people.
"In Alabama, all the babies that die before the first year, 22 percent of them die because of sudden unexplained infant death," Centor said. "This baby box project addresses the fact that too many babies are dying in Alabama."
Experts say the state is in crisis mode and is urging new parents to take advantage of the Baby Box program. All you need to do is register online at
this website, then watch a video and take a short quiz. You'll receive a certificate of completion and be able to select local pick-up or direct delivery of your Baby Box.
Alabama is one of three states launching this campaign. New Jersey and Ohio are also offering free Baby Boxes.