Howland fire to help keep babies safe

HOWLAND–In an effort to help reduce the infant mortality rate, the Howland Fire Department has partnered with Baby Box University, a safe sleep education initiative, and has became the first distribution site for the boxes in Trumbull County.

Fire Chief James Pantalone said the department wants to do what it can to help promote safe sleep practices and is a local distribution site.

He said the Baby Box hopes to reduce infant mortality rate by offering the free boxes that double as a new baby starter kit.

Natalie Gifford, an administrative assistant for the Howland Fire Department, who is herself an expectant mother, said she knows the importance of safe sleep for newborns.

Gifford said she wants parents in the area to have the boxes for their babies as well as be educated on better infant safety.

Pantalone said the cardboard boxes became available in late July to the public. The boxes are used as sleeping spaces for infants.

They said boxes are made from a durable cardboard can be used as a baby’s bed for the first months of life to help prevent accidents and Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The program is designed to make sure all parents regardless of socioeconomic background has access.

Pantalone said Township Administrator Darlene St. George heards of the Baby Box and contacted them about the program.

Gifford said the boxes can also be used as a bassinet.

To get a box, parents need to complete a brief online curriculum education in order to earn a certificate from Baby Box University needed to receive a box. In addition photo identification is needed.

Pick-up hours are 8 a.m. to noon Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at the station on Niles-Cortland Road. To make an appointment call 330-856-5022, ext 3.