Preventing SIDS? State group warns of dangers of Baby Boxes

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2,000 babies died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 2010.  63 of them were in Illinois.

Fed up with the mystery syndrome largely referred to as SIDS, the state of New Jersey decided to do something about it and gave a baby box to each new mother in that state.

The state is filling it with new baby and new mother necessities like bottles, diapers, burp cloths and more. And the box itself is to serve as a crib.

But it is a bad idea, says SIDS of Illinois.

The only son of Nancy Maruyama, executive director of SIDS of Illinois, died from SIDS.  Since them, Nancy has been working to educate expectant parents about the dangers of this mysterious infant syndrome.

Nancy says the cardboard baby boxes being handed out to every expectant mother in New Jersey is not the answer.

"I don't agree with it. There hasn't been enough research on it. How can we say this is safe?" she says.

In Finland, new mothers have been getting these boxes for 80 years. And Finland boasts holding the #1 spot when it comes to infant mortality. The U.S. ranks 26th.

SIDS of Illinois says there are too many variables that could influence those statistics. Things like good prenatal care, exposure to smoking and sleep position of the baby.

To get the baby box in New Jersey, parents have to complete a safe-sleep education program, watch a video and take a quiz.

More than a million mothers will have access to a baby box in the U.S. this year.

SIDS of Illinois says putting the Baby Box on the floor isn't safe. Fear of animals reaching in could leave an infant vulnerable. And the top of the box also raises concerns.

And the child outgrows the Baby Box quickly - in a couple of months. SIDS of Illinois says that also raises concerns.


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