Ys across New Jersey are supporting the Keeping Babies Safe (KBS) 5K run/walk that will take place Sunday, October 2, 2011 at Harry Dunham Park, 490 Somerville Rd, Basking Ridge, NJ.  Registration is $25 ($2 discount for USATF-NJ members) and begins at 8:00am; the walk starts at 9:30am and the 5K run at 10:00am. Funds raised from the event will be used to subsidize the cost of new approved cribs for NJ YMCA daycare centers. The F.M. Children’s Kirby Center of the Madison Area YMCA is purchasing cribs from Keeping Babies Safe with internal funds. The greatly reduced cost for the cribs through KBS enables the Kirby Center to re-allocate internal funding to complete the replacement. Kirby fully supports the efforts of KBS and Somerset Hills for hosting the 5K and generating funds for this important project. New crib safety legislation, enacted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, requires all daycare facilities and hotels to replace all cribs before December 2012.  For every six people who register for a Y team, KBS will donate one new crib to that Y, or a Y of their choice.

F.M. Kirby Children’s Center Executive Director, Krys Jensen, mentions “the safety of our children is our highest priority.  Although we have never used drop-side cribs, we're excited about replacing all of our current cribs with new ones that meet all of the new more stringent requirements.  We're also glad that this important issue, sleep safety for infants, is getting some more attention and increased awareness since cribs continue to be the leading cause of death and injury among all nursery products.”

Mitch Perry, Kirby’s Associate Executive Director, also mentions that “KBS is providing new cribs at a substantial discount to YMCAs. We strive to provide the highest quality child-care and new cribs are part of a comprehensive program at the Kirby Center.”

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Joyce Davis, President of KBS, lost her 4-month old son due to adding a supplemental mattress that was advertised as suitable for their popular brand of portable crib. Had the proper information been available, this tragedy would have been prevented.  “These dangers are completely preventable,” said Davis. “We supply reliable information to parents so they can be better informed to protect their babies.  Cribs are the most important product in your home for your baby. It’s the only place where your child is left unattended.” Davis and her family played a key role in influencing lawmakers to mandate new crib safety laws recently enacted, designed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.  “We can and will do better,” said Joyce. “We urge your involvement in this important event.”

Keeping Babies Safe, www.keepingbabiessafe.org, is New Jersey-based 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides education, assistance and leadership in keeping babies safe from preventable injuries associated with unsafe cribs and unsafe sleep environments.   Keeping Babies Safe provides all the necessary crib and sleep safety information, product recall information and safety tips so parents can stay informed and be vigilant about keeping their children safe.  

To register, please visit www.keepingbabiessafe.org/walk and choose the Madison Area YMCA team from the dropdown menu; your registration fee will contribute toward the purchase of a new crib for the Ys. For more information about the 5K event, contact jdavis@keepingbabiessafe.org.

The Madison Area YMCA is located on 111 Kings Road in Madison. Visit its website at madisonareaymca.org.