MANSFIELD — Richland Public Health and partner agencies will begin distributing FREE cribs (called Cribettes) to Medicaid-eligible new mothers and mothers-to-be through funds provided by the Richland County Youth and Family Council.
Richland County Youth and Family Council is providing $25,000 for the cribs, which will purchase approximately 300 Cribettes. Cribettes are compact cribs that easily fold out to full-size cribs to make a safe sleep environment for children from newborn up to 30 pounds.
“There are approximately 1,000 children born in Richland County every year,” said Martin Tremmel, Health Commissioner at Richland Public Health. “About one out of two of those children are born to mothers who qualify for Medicaid. Potentially, we could be providing a Cribette for half of these kids. Infant mortality is a significant concern in Ohio and Richland County and having a safe sleep environment for an infant is an important way to reduce these tragedies.”
Using a crib for sleep has been shown to reduce infant mortality by decreasing the incidence of sudden infant death (SIDS) and accidental deaths such as overlay (accidentally smothering a child to death by rolling over them in sleep) and co-sleeping fatalities. The ABCs of safe sleep emphasize putting a child to sleep Alone, on their Back, and in a Crib.
In 2017, Richland County had two infant fatalities due to co-sleeping. Through October of this year, there have been three co-sleeping infant fatalities. “If we can move those numbers down, one baby at a time, we’ll make a difference here,” Tremmel said about the program.
“By using the Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan, we identified the needs of our community and the need to address this collaboratively” said Teresa Alt, Director at Richland County Youth and Family Council, at the press conference held at Richland Public Health on December 12 to announce the FREE Cribette program. “What we hope to achieve is to help parents and family members take care of their infants with the tools we provide them.”
Richland Public Health will be joined by partnering agencies in order to make the distribution of Cribettes easier for eligible mothers. Those agencies are: Catholic Charities, 2 Smith Avenue, Mansfield; Child Development Center at North Central State College, 2441 Kenwood Circle, Mansfield; Domestic Violence Shelter, 382 Marion Avenue, Mansfield; Dr. Guimaraes’ Office, OB/GYN, 24 Morris Road, Shelby; Richland Pregnancy Services, 1560 West Fourth Street, Mansfield; Third Street Family Health Services, 35 N. Park Street, Suite 132, Mansfield; Third Street OB/GYN, 770 Balgreen Dr., Suite 207, Mansfield; WIC Offices at Richland Public Health, 555 Lexington Ave., Mansfield and Woman’s Care, 500 S. Trimble Rd., Mansfield.
In order to qualify for a FREE Cribette, which includes a Safe Sleep Survival Kit*, the recipient must be pregnant or have a child under one (1) year of age and 30 pounds, be a Richland County resident, have a Medicaid card, and sign a waiver form.
Public Health nurses at Richland Public Health also offer free Cribettes with the Safe Sleep Survival Kit to qualifying families through a newborn home visit. Through this program a public health nurse comes to your home to check on your baby and answers question you may have. Newborn home visits are available to any Richland County new mother. Call 419-774-4540 to request a newborn home visit.
For additional information about the Cribette distribution program, contact Public Health Nursing at Richland Public Health, 419-774-4540.