A bill that would educate new parents about safe sleep practices for infants has passed both houses and will be sent to Gov. Cuomo to be signed or vetoed.
The bill ( S.5100/A.7181) amends Public Health Law to require that the informational leaflet provided by hospitals and birth centers to maternity patients include information relating to safe sleep.
The Office of Children and Family Services has noticed an increased number of fatalities caused by Sudden Infant death Syndrome that were reported to the Statewide Central Register in children, mainly infants, while they are sleeping.
“While the State Department of Health and OCFS have worked cooperatively on developing brochures and other public information materials on safe sleep, we need to increase our efforts to prevent infant deaths due to unsafe sleeping practices, including through direct outreach to birth parents,” said Amy Paulin, the bill’s sponsor in the Assembly.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1,500 infants died from SIDS in 2014. It is the leading cause of death for infants between one month and one-year-old.
Hospitals and birth centers are already required to provide information to new parents regarding shaken baby syndrome, maternal depression and statistics on maternity-related procedures such as cesarean sections performed at hospitals and birth centers. This legislation simply adds to that information and may take the form of a video.
“By adding to and improving the current information that is available to new mothers, we will build awareness of the risks associated with unsafe sleeping conditions and help parents provide safe sleeping environments for infants so that we can prevent tragic infant deaths and injuries,” said Paulin, D-Scarsdale.
The bill was sponsored in the Senate by Andrew Lanza, R-Staten Island.