By Bob Katzen

The Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities Committee held a hearing on a proposal that would require the Department of Children and Families to establish a safe sleep program that provides infant safety information on its website for expecting and new parents. An online training course would also be offered to educate them on infant safety and safe sleep techniques.

The measure also provides free safe sleep boxes for infants and additional infant care necessities for anyone who has completed the training course to the satisfaction of the department. These baby boxes are made from durable cardboard and include a firm mattress and a collection of products including diapers, breastfeeding accessories, baby clothes and other items.

The use of baby boxes originated in Finland, where they helped that country achieve one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world,” said the bill’s sponsor Rep. Diane DiZoglio (D-Methuen). “In 2017, an estimated 93 percent of infant fatalities associated with Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome were related to sleep environments.

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