Health & Wellness

Letters to the Editor

Low-Income Families Who Need Safe Cribs Have Nowhere to Go

b8e70aceff81090b7220_joyce_davis_photo_hires.jpg
Joyce Davis Credits: Keeping Babies Safe
b8e70aceff81090b7220_joyce_davis_photo_hires.jpg

One recent email came from a pastor in East Orange, sharing the struggles of a young couple who have no safe place for their baby to sleep.

Then, there was also a phone call from a Newark hospital, making its fourth request in two years, as well as a frantic text from Puerto Rico, for a family who lost everything in the hurricane.

They all pleaded for the same thing: A safe crib for a newborn baby.

Sign Up for E-News

Over the past six years, my non-profit organization “Keeping Babies Safe” (KBS) has been providing free cribs, mattresses and other supplies to low-income families, hospitals and charities as part of our “Project Safe Crib.” I am proud to say more than 8,000 families have been served.

This year, however, I have no response to the steady stream of phone calls, emails, letters and texts that KBS receives. That is because we have lost foundation support for Project Safe Crib, as many of our funders had to make “difficult decisions” between providing safe cribs to low-income families and their other funding priorities.

The public needs to recognize that more infants die each year in cribs that any other nursery product. There are now more than 20 million potentially fatal cribs in the U.S., in use or in storage for future use. And there are an average of 26 crib-related injuries requiring ER visits every day.

In New Jersey, 41 infants suffocated while sharing a bed in 2015 – the largest percentage of bed-sharing deaths reported in the state a single year. Black infants and Latino infants are three times and 2.5 times more likely to die while sharing a bed, respectively, according to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It is somewhat reassuring that our state lawmakers recognize this crisis. It was reported in late December that the Senate Health Committee expects to explore preventable causes of infant deaths during hearings early this year.

Many individuals, hospitals and agencies rely on KBS for safe sleep information, making it so painful to say we no longer offer Project Safe Crib. Equally concerning is the fact that there appears to be no other viable, one-stop source for low-income families to get safe cribs that meet the latest federal standards.

We are a small non-profit, relying solely on charity and the good graces of many individuals who volunteer their time, excess supplies and the connections we need to operate. We launched Project Safe Crib as a supplement to other social services, but now find ourselves alone, fielding inquiries from throughout the nation.

And with no resources to help people.

It is my hope that other entities with the resources can step in and fill the gap. Project Safe Crib has succeeded because it responds to an obvious need.

We have witnessed countless scenarios in which families place their newborns in old, outdated hand-me-down cribs, many of which have been recalled by the manufacturer. We have seen babies placed in drawers, or on the ground or in toddler beds. Many parents have resorted to “co-sleeping,” with their infants, an enormous danger that has resulted in hundreds of suffocation deaths when sleeping parents roll over.

One of the incredible benefits of Project Safe Crib is that we just didn’t deliver products. We have experienced social service professionals visit the home, assess the sleeping area for safety, set up the crib and mattress and explain to the parents the safest way in which to ensure safe sleep.

We tell parents: Remove all soft items from the crib, including bumpers, pillows and blankets. Make sure to check the crib regularly for loose or missing parts. And, never, ever, use a supplemental mattress in a soft-sided play yard, as it is a proven suffocation hazard.

It is my hope that other social services agencies will hear about the struggles of Project Safe Crib and pick up the work. While we are proud to have provided thousands of cribs over the years, we have never been able to fulfill every request. And with the devastating hurricanes last fall, we remain overloaded with requests.

I ask that people continue to contact KBS, as we are eager to provide education about safe sleep. But I wish we had a partner in which we can forward requests for safe cribs. As of today, there is no one to call.

Joyce Davis is founder and president of Keeping Babies Safe.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Warren

Missing in Green Brook: Have You Seen Riley?

June 17, 2018

GREEN BROOK, NJ - Have you seen Riley? 

Riley’s family says, “Please help. I’ve lost my dog. Somewhere on 22 in Green Brook. His name is Riley. He is a black and silver beagle.  He is scared of people. So just grab him by the collar. He is very friendly and won’t bite or attack. Or just call us at 732-266-2822 or 917-596-4869. Much appreciated. We are so ...

Warren Financial Planner Fined $500K, Barred from Selling Securities for Defrauding Seniors of $6.1 Million, NJ Attorney General Says

June 16, 2018

NEWARK, NJ –  A Warren resident and his company, a Morris County investment advisory firm, were fined $500,000 in civil penalties and barred from selling securities for fraudulently selling at least $6.1 million in unregistered securities to elderly and retired New Jersey investors, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced on Friday. 

The Bureau of ...

Horse Care Workshops at Lord Stirling Start June 23

June 17, 2018

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — Somerset County Park Commission Lord Stirling Stable is offering Horse Care Workshop 101 for adults and youth seeking to gain experience and confidence around horses through a combination of non-riding activities and hands-on practice.

Horse Care Workshop 101 will be held at Lord Stirling Stable, 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge, NJ beginning Saturday June ...

Elks 150th Anniversary

Founded in New York City on February 16, 1868, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) is celebrating its 150th Anniversary this year. This non-political, non-sectarian and strictly American Fraternal Order was founded "To promote and practice the four cardinal virtues of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_c0dcc5b06e5dfbe83904_vbs2018-banner

Mon, June 25, 8:45 AM

Stonecrest Community Church, Warren

Summer Spectacular 2018 VBS

Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_c0dcc5b06e5dfbe83904_vbs2018-banner

Tue, June 26, 8:45 AM

Stonecrest Community Church, Warren

Summer Spectacular 2018 VBS

Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_c0dcc5b06e5dfbe83904_vbs2018-banner

Wed, June 27, 8:45 AM

Stonecrest Community Church, Warren

Summer Spectacular 2018 VBS

Religions And Spirituality

Obituaries

Jul 28, 1955 - Feb 8, 2018
Owner/Chef of Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes  Beloved Husband, Father, Brother and ...
Read more

Manutti Marina in Belmar: Top Choice for Boating, Fishing and All-Around Family Fun

June 12, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — It’s no secret that Belmar Manutti Marina ranks among the best boating destinations along the Atlantic coast.

Tucked along the eastern shoreline of the idyllic Shark River — just a five-minute trip by boat to the ocean — the state-of-the-art marina is a top choice among boaters looking to stay for the season, enjoy a vacation or spend the weekend.

In ...

Missing in Green Brook: Have You Seen Riley?

June 17, 2018

GREEN BROOK, NJ - Have you seen Riley? 

Riley’s family says, “Please help. I’ve lost my dog. Somewhere on 22 in Green Brook. His name is Riley. He is a black and silver beagle.  He is scared of people. So just grab him by the collar. He is very friendly and won’t bite or attack. Or just call us at 732-266-2822 or 917-596-4869. Much appreciated. We are so ...

To Our Republican Supporters in Warren Township,

June 12, 2018

 

I want to thank the voters of Warren Township for the overwhelming support Gary and I received on the June 5th primary election.  This would not have been achievable without the hard work of our families, many friends and supporters as well as the loyal Republicans that cast a vote for us and our shared goals.  

 

The campaign is not over until the ...

Get Empowered to Help Prevent Suicide

Dear Editor:

Over the past week social media and the news have been filled with stories and articles encouraging people to seek help if they’re in emotional distress. There have been countless articles about the need to break the silence around the topic of mental health and suicide, and I am encouraged by the support people are extending to others.

Often, the death by suicide by ...

Watchung’s Rizzi Ties Record at Rotary Track and Field Meet, North Plainfield Middle School Dominates in Awards Tally

June 9, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - With an overcast sky and pleasantly cool temperatures, young student athletes from area middle schools and one elementary school gathered for the 91st Annual Rotary Track and Field Meet, held June 6 at the Hub Stine Athletic Complex in Plainfield.

Vincent Rizzi, holder of the Meet high jump records for boys ages 12 and 13, tried valiantly to best the 14 year old boys’ ...

SCBP Biz Fest 2018 Draws Record Crowd

June 17, 2018

SOMERSET, NJ - More than 500 people attended Biz Fest 2018, Somerset County's ‘hyper-local’ trade show and networking event, on Thursday at the Imperia.

The Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) organized the event.  SCBP Vice President of Business Services Chris Edwards said that this year's Biz Fest was a huge success. 

"This has been ...

Update: Police Break Up Fight Involving 40-50 People at Bridgewater Commons Mall

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — No injuries have been reported in an incident that shut down Bridgewater Commons Mall Thursday evening after a fight involving a crowd of 40-50 people.

Police are still investigating unconfirmed reports of shots being fired, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office.

The mall is closed for the evening as the investigation continues.

Somerset County ...

March for Watchung Library and Rally Set for Saturday

WATCHUNG, NJ - Supporters of keeping a Watchung Library in Watchung have organized a March For Watchung Library to be held on Saturday, June 16. 

The Coalition to Save the Watchung Library is rallying support and have asked all who want to participate to “paint a sign, put on some purple, and come out and join your friends and neighbors for a Rally on the Green and ...

Long May It Wave: Elks' Festival Salutes American Flag

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ The Somerville Elks are hosting their annual salute to America, patriotism and the American Flag  June 15 on the green adjacent to the historic Somerset County Courthouse on East Main Street, beginning at 5 p.m.

The Flag Day Country Music Festival features “Big Hix,” a country/western tribute cover band that takes the stage at 7 p.m. for a free ...

Manutti Marina in Belmar: Top Choice for Boating, Fishing and All-Around Family Fun

June 12, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — It’s no secret that Belmar Manutti Marina ranks among the best boating destinations along the Atlantic coast.

Tucked along the eastern shoreline of the idyllic Shark River — just a five-minute trip by boat to the ocean — the state-of-the-art marina is a top choice among boaters looking to stay for the season, enjoy a vacation or spend the weekend.

In ...