Philadelphia

City Will Give Out Cribs to Mothers to Prevent Infant Deaths

Babies are safer in a crib than on an adult bed or a sofa.

drop-side-crib
NBCNewYork

Philly's health department will distribute pack-and-play cribs to residents to help infants sleep safely at home, officials said during the coronavirus news briefing Tuesday.

The number one preventable cause of death among Philadelphia's infants is sleep-related deaths, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.

"The greatest risk factor for that is an infant that's put to bed not in a crib, but is set on a sofa, or an adult bed," he added. "We don't want any children in the City of Philadelphia, any infants, to be sleeping in anything other than a very safe crib."

The cribs will be delivered to mothers of infants and expectant parents. Indego, which runs the city's bikeshare program, will help distribute the cribs via contactless delivery.

"Everyone can be assured that any crib that arrives is not contaminated with the coronavirus," Farley said.

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Any pregnant woman who wants a pack-and-play crib so their infant can sleep safely once it is born should call 267-432-5844, Farley added.

Reasons for placing an infant on an adult bed or sofa vary - but in some cases the family may be unable to pay for a new crib. "Co-sleeping," where an infant sleeps in bed with a parent - and other unconventional arrangements can cause suffocation deaths, according to a recent study.

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