By Chris Newbrough
A new baby in a home is always an exciting time. But, it can also be a fretful time for a new mom and dad. One of the things young couples have to worry about is being able to provide the new infant a safe and secure sleeping arrangement. The Audrain County Health Department (ACHD) is now in a position to help alleviate that concern, for those who qualify. The Safe Crib program, a program through the larger Safe Cribs For Missouri program, is now available at the ACHD for those that qualify.
“This program is a great way to help alleviate new parent concerns over the sleeping safety of their newborns,” ACHD Administrator Sandra Hewlett said. “Too many children across the country are dying each year because of a tragic accident in the home when a crib more than likely could have prevented the tragedy. We want to reduce that risk for newborns.”
Those that are eligible for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program or have an income that is less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible. The mother must be at least 35 weeks into the pregnancy or, if the baby has already been born, he or she must be less than three months of age. Also, eligible applicants will have to prove state residency in Missouri. The program will also require two educational sessions by the parents, or parent. The first will be held prior to the family receiving the crib at the health department. The second session, a member of the ACHD staff will visit the home to look for safe use of the crib and safe sleep practices.
“Being able to visit the client in their home is just another way to help ensure the infant is in a sound sleeping environment and the crib is being used correctly,” ACHD Licensed Practical Nurse Kerry Patton said. Patton heads up the Safe Cribs Program for ACHD. “We are hoping through this program we can provide safer sleeping environments for infants in Audrain County.”
To see if you qualify for the program, you can contact Patton at 573-581-1332, or visit the ACHD web site at www.audraincountyhealth.org.