CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Many new parents are still not heeding the warnings about putting their babies to sleep safely, but are Heartland parents getting the message?
One store owner admitted many parents are still choosing style over safety when it comes to their baby's beds.
However, there's a safe alternative all new parents can use.
"I wouldn't be afraid to use traditional bedding," Gracie Kight said.
Kight owns Meggie & Mike's, an infant and child resale shop in Cape Girardeau.
When expecting parents buys things from her store, Kight said safety isn't always first on their minds.
"People that come in, they're looking for things that complement their nurseries," Kight said. "Most of them have not said I want something that is safe."
New research released this week shows an alarming 91 percent of parents are still putting their newborns in beds with too many soft objects, like bumpers or stuffed animals.
Kight did show the one safer crib alternative she's got for sale.
"This is called breathable baby, it's a mesh, a lot thinner than the traditional and some parents ask for this, but not the majority," Kight said.
Neonatologist Alan Burnett recommends safe bedding practices to all new moms but said he doesn't believe many families follow them.
"It's hard being a parent," Burnett said. "When your child cries you don't want to cry, so you do things to console them, even if you know this is the safe environment, you feel like it's not going to happen to you."
Barnett said 20 infants die a year in the Missouri Bootheel, with about a quarter of those deaths caused by unsafe bedding.
So starting in January, Barnett's office will start providing these baby boxes. They are filled with baby items and the newborn can actually sleep safely inside it.
"The contents of this box and the educational message that goes along with that box increase the probability greatly that people will follow this message, remember this message, and spread this message," Burnett said.
St. Francis Hospital is not currently offering the boxes to past or new families and do not have an alternative at this time.
If you want to purchase a baby box before Saint Francis Hospital starts offering them, visit BabyBox.