Wausau (WAOW) — Safe Haven Baby Boxes are a possible new addition to Safe Haven laws in Wisconsin. The boxes are similar to NICU bassinets and can be installed in walls at fire stations, police stations, hospitals and other Safe Haven locations.
Safe Haven laws make it possible for a parent to drop-off a newborn baby anonymously and with no questions asked. It’s a program officials wish would have been used last week after the tragic death of a newborn baby in Marshfield.
“If the mother, or the mother and father, run into a situation where they simply can’t keep the child or choose not to keep the child, they can certainly turn it over to some people who will see to it that their child is loved,” said Wood County Sheriff’s Deputy Doug Christianson last week.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes are currently being used in four states and work with existing safe haven programs. Once the door is opened and a baby is placed inside, an alert is sent to 911. Safe Haven Baby Box founder, Monica Kelsey, said response time has always been under five minutes.
“It’s a much safer option than placing your child in the grass at a hospital ER door,” Kelsey said.
Kelsey, now a firefighter-paramedic in Indiana, was abandoned as a baby. The idea came from her own personal experience. Now she’s working to spread the boxes to more areas.
Safe Haven laws are in place to protect the well-being of the baby, and while many agree it should be used as a last resort, it’s a resources they hope can help avoid another tragic death.