By now you probably know about baby boxes. They're a tradition that began in Finland, over 80 years ago, and since January of this year, over five states have begun offering them to all new parents as a step to help reduce that number of SIDS cases. So it's no surprise that as baby boxes continue to grow throughout the U.S. there continues to be more and more scrutiny on their safety. There are currently no governmental guidelines for baby boxes and because there hasn't been a mortality or major injury case attributed to the boxes, the Consumer Product Safety Commission hasn't prompted an investigation. However, they are implementing a task-force, largely attributed by the growing surge and usage of baby boxes in the U.S.
One of the companies pushing for this task force is Finnbin, the only baby box company made and 100% of materials sourced in the U.S. Its CEO an co-founder, Shawn Bercuson, is actively participating in The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Baby Box Task Force and pushing it to move forward with baby box testing and safety guidelines.
“These boxes have been used for over 85 years in Finland and are largely attributed to helping that country’s drastic decline in infant mortality” said Bercuson. “We want nothing more than to propel the CPSC’s Baby Box Task Force so we can have appropriate tests conducted and put to rest much of the concern about the safety of these boxes.”
The Baby Box Task Force was prompted by Bercuson and other baby box company leaders to initiate these tests since there hasn’t been a fatality associated with a baby in a box and thus, the CPSC would normally need that to initiate tests on its own.
Dr. Kathie McCans is chair of the New Jersey Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board, recently stated in an NPR story that she agrees that standards, regulations and more testing are needed, though she said that by waiting for its completion before providing boxes to families could do more harm than good.
"How many babies should die while we wait for the Consumer Product Safety Commission to do testing?" she says. "The reality is, babies have died in bassinets, babies have died in cribs."
As baby boxes continue to gain momentum, the fact that the companies who are producing them for families in the U.S. want these guidelines speaks volumes on their trust and confidence that with the testing will come official guidelines and affirmation on their safety and effectiveness in providing a safe place for babies up to six-months to sleep. More about Finnbin can be found at: www.finnbin.com
Disclaimer: I work at Finnbin, but my views and those in this post are my own.