PHILADELPHIA, PA --Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia has started an initiative to help reduce infant mortality rates. The hospital is providing each new mother who delivers at the hospital with a baby box, which is a functioning bassinet complete with a sheet and mattress.
"We weren't sure how people were going to react to putting their babies in a box, but it's been an overwhelmingly positive response," Dr. Megan Heere, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, told ABC News.
The boxes are also firm, which helps prevent sudden unexpected infant death (SUID), keeping a baby lying flat on their back when sleeping and away from other stuffed animals and objects that could strangle or suffocate the baby.
According to Jennifer Rodriguez, director of nursing services at Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the U.S., with 10.5 deaths for every 1,000 live births. The national average is 5.2 deaths for 1,000 live births.
According to WPVI, Victoria Mack was one of the first mothers at Temple to receive a "baby box" for her son, Reign.
"Sometimes when you have a baby laying up against you, it makes it very easy to fall asleep with the baby," said Mack.
But having the box right next to the bed will make things easier, and safer, for little Reign, helping mom achieve her goal.
"Just to give him the best future that he can possibly have," said Mack.