New York will be offering portable cribs for families in need for the second year in a row, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today.
The Office of Children and Families Services will purchase 2,142 GRACO Pack n’ play portable cribs, also known as playards or playpens. In 2012, over 2,000 portable cribs were requested by the time last year’s 1,600 portable cribs were handed out, Gannett’s Ashley Hupfl reports.
“With reports to the state showing that unsafe sleeping conditions are a leading cause of child fatalities, this initiative will help New Yorkers with limited resources to provide a safer sleeping environment for their children,” said Cuomo in a press release.
Portable cribs provide a federally approved safe sleep environment for children. The OCFS attributes 31 percent of child fatalities to dangerous sleeping arraignments.
The OCFS advised parents:
• Always place infants on their backs to sleep
• Make sure the infant’s sleep area is free of soft objects or loose bedding
• Avoid letting children sleep on unstable surfaces
• If possible, adults should avoid sleeping next to babies on any surface, particularly couches, and especially if the adult is overweight, extremely tired, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“Tragedies due to unsafe sleep conditions for small children are preventable,” said OCFS Commissioner Gladys Carrión. “It is critical for every New Yorker who comes into contact with a young child to know safe sleep practices.”
Portable cribs are available at social services offices in Orange, Onondaga, Monroe, Erie, Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk.
Requests are being accepted through Sept. 13.