SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — When you have a newborn, the expenses can add up.
That’s why one program is giving away portable cribs to new parents in Shelby County who may not be able to afford one.
It’s all thanks to the Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Program. Parents of newborns and babies up to five months old in Shelby County can receive a Rock-N-Play portable crib from the program for free.
Parents must call first to make an appointment.
Head of Injury Prevention and Safe Kids at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital Jennifer Taylor said if a parent can’t afford a crib, they may have to resort to unsafe means, like letting the child sleep in the bed with them.
She said it’s crucial parents follow the ABCs of safe sleep: ‘A’ for baby should always sleep alone, ‘B’ for baby should sleep on their back and ‘C’ for baby should always sleep in a crib.
“There are plenty of families out there who are in need of safe cribs,” Taylor said.
Taylor said it’s a struggle that parents in the Mid-South face all too often and it can lead to serious consequences.
“Unfortunately, Shelby County is leading in the state when it comes to infant-related deaths,” she said.
In 2019, Taylor said the county saw 22 infant deaths, some attributed to improper sleeping practices.
“Because of this initiative, those families in need are able to go to Shelby County and receive those cribs,” she said.
Taylor said resources like this can help to prevent a tragedy.
“It just makes my heart so proud to know there are some resources for those families, and we have to get them taken to those families right away,” she said.
Taylor said LeBonheur is also working to put together a safe sleep committee.
It will help new parents learn the best sleep practices for their babies.
If you’re interested in getting a free crib from the Fetal and Infant Mortality Review program, click here.
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