In the Scotland is Now campaign – designed to promote this country on the world stage – the Baby Box scheme is held up as a shining example of what we are all about as a nation, part of efforts to “make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up”.
Given this level of promotion and the fact they are sent to mothers of newborns as a “safe sleep space for babies”, it is alarming to discover that a leading expert has raised concerns about their safety.
Peter Blair, of Bristol University, suggests the sides of the box are too high, potentially obscuring the parents’ view of their infant. He says the boxes should only be used if there is nothing else available, while also stressing that he’s not saying “don’t use the baby box”.
The Scottish Government has issued a statement saying there was no evidence the boxes were unsafe, but Mary Fee of Scottish Labour surely spoke for everyone when she said Ministers needed to urgently make sure “these boxes are safe”.
Baby boxes are a lovely idea, an initiative done with the best of intentions. But, if there is something wrong with them, changes must be made as a matter of priority.