On the night of January 4, a baby box in the Czech Republic received the 200th child safely surrendered through baby boxes in the country. According to BRNO Daily, the newborn baby boy was safely deposited in a baby box in Blansko.
Ludvík Hess, who spearheaded the effort to bring baby boxes to the Czech Republic in 2005, released a statement that the boy was healthy. After being received in the baby box, the baby was transferred by ambulance to a hospital in Boskovice. Hess revealed that the baby had been named Jan in honor of Jan Juchelka, one of the donors to the baby box project. According to BRNO, “A babybox basically works as a newborn incubator; when a baby is placed in the device, the heating and ventilation systems switch on and, with a slight delay, an alarm alerts medical staff that the baby is there.”
The first baby box in the Czech Republic was installed in 2005, and there are now 76 in the nation. The Blansko baby box which received baby Jan was installed in 2018.
For parents in crisis, the baby box can provide a means of surrendering a newborn without question and without revealing their identity. Baby boxes are becoming more common in many parts of the world. One baby box in the United States received its first newborn less than 30 days after going into operation last fall. Raising public awareness about baby boxes and the life-saving alternative they can provide for families in crisis helps to combat potentially fatal newborn abandonment and ensures people have a place to turn.
Because of baby boxes, in less than 15 years, 200 Czech babies were safely transferred to resources and potentially life-saving care. Hess, who launched the baby box system in the Czech Republic, joked after the 200th baby, “So if there are now 111 girls, how many boys are there?” Each of those 111 girls and 89 boys have had a chance at life because a safe alternative was provided to their birth parents who may not have been able to provide for them in a difficult time.
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