Cardboard boxes as cribs? Safety sleep program expands

Displayed at the home of Dolores Peterson is a box that can be uses as a crib in Camden, N.J., Monday, March 6, 2017. New Jersey became the first state to send newborn babies and their parents home with a box that doubles as a crib and full of necessities, with the aim of cutting back on sudden infant death syndrome. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – Cardboard boxes linked to a European idea to help babies sleep safely have made their way to the U.S. with New Jersey and Ohio being the first states to offer them to parents.

Parents are beginning to take the so-called baby boxes home from hospitals along with their newborns. A Los Angeles-based company has partnered with health officials to give the boxes away for free and an online initiative offers advice aimed at reducing sudden unexpected infant deaths.

Experts say parents should ditch stuffed animals, blankets and pillows in a newborn’s sleeping quarters as they are linked to suffocation deaths.

Parents can pick the boxes up at hospitals or have them mailed. Boxes also have been handed out in San Francisco and Minneapolis, with a goal to expand nationally.

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