Leer en Español
Ocala, FL – The first and only Safe Haven Baby Box in Florida received its first submission when a newborn was turned over to it.
The baby box is located at the Ocala Fire Rescue division. During a news conference on Thursday morning, the CEO and founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes Monica Kelsey, Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn, and Ocala Fire Chief Clint Welborn discussed the surrendered child.
There are 134 boxes in the United States, with Ocala’s site being one of just one in Florida. It was the first Safe Haven Baby Box to be placed in Florida when it did so in December 2020. During the press conference, Welborn and Guinn stated that the tool helps save lives.
“I’m so happy to hear of this miracle baby,” Guinn said. “I knew when we did this in 2020, this day would come. We all did. We just didn’t know when. We’re glad it was there as a resource for the mother of this child. I’m sure there will be a bright future ahead for this precious child.”
Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn said he is glad the city could provide this resource for mom and baby, WFLA Reported.
The Safe Haven Baby Box is leased for $200 a month and costs $10,000. Since November 2017, 23 newborns have so far been put in a Baby Box, according to Safe Haven.
In spite of states having Safe Haven laws permitting women to turn over their infants to hospitals and fire stations, authorities still find dead, abandoned babOcala Mayor Kent Guinn said he is glad the city could provide this resource for moms and babies, which gave Monica Kelsey the concept for Safe Haven Baby Boxes.
According to Kelsey, the boxes feature a heater, a cooling system, and an alarm system. After the infant is placed in the box, the quiet alarm will sound 60 seconds later to notify firemen that there is a baby within.
The exterior door locks once the infant is inside, and only security or medical staff have access. After that, according to Safe Haven authorities, the infant is taken care of in less than five minutes, assessed medically at a nearby hospital, and will be likely adopted in 30 to 45 days.