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Photo: Twitter/@MelindaKatz
Photo: Twitter/@MelindaKatz

Parents can rest easier knowing that a safe space is available for their newborn to sleep.

On July 20, First Lady Chirlane McCray and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz joined Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett and ACS Commissioner David A. Hansell at NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens in Jamaica to announce the donation of 1,000 new Pack ‘N Play portable cribs to provide Queens families with a safe surface for their infants to sleep.

The donations of the portable cribs, which have been dubbed “Katz’s Cradles,” is an expansion of the city’s efforts to reduce sleep-related injuries among infants, which is a leading cause of death for infants in New York City.

“Parents have many additional worries and stress when it comes to newborns, but the safety of their sleeping child should not be one of them” said McCray, co-chair of the NYC Children’s Cabinet. “By distributing these Pack ‘n Plays to families that need them, we are making sure that more of our littlest and most vulnerable New Yorkers are tucked in safely.”

The free portable cribs come with a Safe Sleep Kit, which contains, fitted sheets, a sleep sack and safe sleep educational materials. The City currently provides safe sleep education and makes cribs available for parents in need all 11 public hospitals including NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens and NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, the Health Department’s Newborn Home Visiting Program, Nurse Family Partnership, Health Action Centers’ Family Wellness Suites, Healthy Start Brooklyn, and across the Department of Homeless Services system.

“Babies don’t come with instruction manuals,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “The last thing any New York parent should have to worry about is a safe sleeping space for their newborn.  It’s the 21st century, yet too many infants are still in danger due to sleep-related injuries.”

The expansion announced today that “Katz’s Cradles” soon available at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, Flushing Hospital Medical Center in Downtown Flushing, and NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens in Jamaica. There are plans to expand to reach more hospitals as well as families in shelters.

To find out more about the Safe Sleep Campaign, call 311 or visit nyc.gov and search “safe sleep.”

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