TAMPA, FLA. –The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County has provided 1,452 Pack n’ Plays to create safe infant sleep environments for infants during hurricane evacuations. This effort is in partnership with Hillsborough County’s Emergency Operations Center, to prepare for the 2020 hurricane season. The cribs will be deployed to Hillsborough County emergency shelters and given to evacuating families with infants at no cost accessing emergency shelters in the event of a natural disaster.
“It is critical that parents remember to add a Pack ‘n Play as a part of their hurricane preparedness. Our goal is to keep infants safe and remind caregivers to practice the ABCs of safe sleep: Alone, on their Back and in a Crib,” says Kelley Parris the Executive Director with the Children’s Board.
In the last five years, there have been 157 child deaths due to infant unsafe sleep in the Tampa Bay area, and there is often an increase in infant unsafe sleep deaths during natural disasters, like a hurricane. Accidental infant deaths can happen when parents and caregivers forget, or don’t know how to plan for safe sleep as part of hurricane preparedness. We strongly urge parents to include a pack ‘n play crib to their hurricane supply lists and evacuation kits for any family with an infant or toddler.
The Children’s Board used emergency funds to purchase the pack ‘n play cribs, which are stored at the Museum of Science and Industry. Hillsborough County Emergency Management department will deploy the portable cribs to emergency shelters across Hillsborough County with other emergency supplies when a hurricane threatens the Tampa Bay region.
About The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County
The Children’s Board’s mission is to invest in quality programs to support the success of all children and families in Hillsborough County. We invest in programs and services that ensure children are healthy and safe, developmentally on track, have family support, and are ready to learn and succeed. In 2019, the Children’s Board invested 40 million dollars in grants to over 66 nonprofits and 90 different programs that help children and families.