Richland County Agencies Partner To Reduce Infant Mortality

  • 12/12/2018 2:48:17 PM
  • Jenna Ramolt
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH - The Richland County Youth & Family Council has donated funds to Richland Public Health and several partnering agencies to provide a free Pack-n-Play Cribette to every Medicaid-eligible new mother or mother-to-be in Richland county. The goal is to reduce infant mortality rates in our community. 

A press conference was held Wednesday morning to introduce the program to the public. Martin Tremmel, Health Commissioner for Richland Public Health, and Teresa Alt, Director of the Richland County Youth & Family Council, spoke about the importance of safe sleep in regard to reducing infant mortality and how their respective organizations aim to help.

Richland County's infant mortality rate is 6.7 per every 1,000 births. While prematurity remains the number one cause of infant death in Ohio, a common trend among preventable infant deaths is unsafe sleep environments. It is recommended that parents follow the ABCs for safe sleep habits: place babies Alone, on their Back, in a Crib.

The Youth & Family Council has provided $25,000 for the Cribette program, which should allow for the purchase of roughly 300 Pack-N-Play cribs. Those cribs will come with a "Safe Sleep Survival Kit," which will provide information on safe sleep practices. Cribettes will be distributed at several local agencies, including Catholic Charities, the Child Development Center at NCSC, the Domestic Violence Shelter, Richland Pregnancy Services, Third Street Family Health Services, Third Street OB/GYN, WIC Offices at Richland Public Health, and Woman's Care. In order to qualify for a free Cribette, recipients must be pregnant or have a child under one year of age and under 30 pounds, they must be a resident in Richland County, they must have a Medicaid card, and they will be asked to sign a waiver. Only one Cribette will be provided per family unless there is a second qualifying child, as in the case of infant twins.

New parents are also eligible for Prenatal & Newborn Home Visits. Richland Public Health will provide a registered nurse from Public Health Nursing to visit new parents before the birth of their child or up to eight weeks after the birth of the child at their home. This is a free service that allows new parents to get answers to questions involving growth, feeding, and development, among a myriad of emotional experiences among the family.

For more information on the program, contact Richland Public Health at 419-774-4500.

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