WARREN – July 14, 2016 – Keeping Babies Safe (KBS), a Warren-based non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring safe sleep practices and products for babies across America, today announced it has received a $6,500 grant for its ongoing “Project Safe Crib” campaign in New Jersey.

The grant was provided by Ronald McDonald House Charities New York Tri-State Area (“RMHC NYTSA”), headquartered in Iselin, New Jersey. This grant will focus on the cost-effective partnership KBS shares with the New Jersey State Department of Children & Families (DCF).  

Project Safe Crib works to ensure that every baby is able to sleep in a safe and secure crib, with the latest safety precautions, no matter the income level or other limitations of his or her parents. Every year, in response to requests made by DCF for cribs for needy families, KBS purchases and donates cribs, along with copies of a video on safe sleep and other educational materials to DCF.  The cribs and educational materials are distributed by DCF to health and human services agencies that serve low-income families throughout New Jersey. Since KBS launched Project Safe Crib in 2007, it has been able to donate more than 8,000 cribs.

KBS has trained DCF staff members in safe sleep practices and provides safe-sleep training to the staff members at the agencies that distribute the cribs.  When the cribs are brought to the families’ homes, agency staff members set up the cribs safely and play the “Safe Sleep (Environments) for Babies” video.  The staff members also discuss safe sleep practices with the family members. Agency staff members provide follow-up visits to the families to ensure that they are using the cribs safely.  

“In keeping with our organization’s mission of supporting programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children, we recognize the critical importance of KBS and its ongoing campaign to ensure safe cribs for babies,” said Christopher Perry, Executive Director of RMHC. “We salute KBS for its work and hope that other charities will join us in supporting Project Safe Crib.”

“We are so appreciative of Ronald McDonald House Charities for this generous grant, which makes it possible for KBS to purchase 39 more cribs and ensure their safe use,” said Joyce Davis, president of KBS. “We ensure that grants such as this are used for the maximum benefit as the need is so great and the funding is often difficult to secure.”

Davis noted another benefit of providing safe cribs: parents won’t use supplemental baby mattresses in soft-sided play yards – a proven suffocation hazard.

According to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, from 2010 to 2012, 123 infant deaths in the United States were associated with unsafe cribs and 44 deaths were associated with unsafe playpens/play yards. According to KBS, infants die every year in cribs than from any other nursery product. There are about 20 million potentially fatal cribs in the U.S. in current use or in storage for future use, with 26 crib-related injuries requiring an emergency room visit every day.

Learn more about the work of KBS at keepingbabiessafe.org

Learn more about RMHC New York Tri-State Area at www.rmhcnytristate.org.