Red Nose welcomes the move by Christchurch-based company Change for our Children to supply Pēpi-Pods to Texas families affected by Hurricane Harvey.
At least 1,000 of the portable sleep spaces will be sent to the area to allow infants whose family circumstances have been disrupted by floods to have a safe place to sleep.
“Babies are a particularly vulnerable group in times of natural disaster,” said Change for our Children director Stephanie Cowan. “Hurricane Harvey has tipped thousands of Texan infants into increased risk of sudden infant death by disrupting living and sleeping conditions for their families. It is harder for parents to provide safe sleeping conditions for their babies when fearful, dependent and displaced.”
The Pēpi-Pods will be supplied along with a mattress, two bottom sheets and a letter of goodwill from the people of New Zealand to the parents of Texas.
World renowned researcher Professor Ed Mitchell, University of Auckland, supported the initiative in a letter to Texan authorities, saying “The targeted supply of Pēpi-Pods to those in need has been a contributing factor in the 30 per cent fall in infant mortality rates that we have seen in our country over the past five years. We recommend these to you in this time of need.”
Following their creation in New Zealand, Pēpi-Pods are also used in Queensland and Western Australia to enable more vulnerable babies to have a safe space for sleeping every time and place they sleep.
Change for our Children is inviting donations through the Givealittle page Pods for Texas Babies to fund the pods and freight.