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Curry’s SIDS education bill clears final hurdle

Curry’s SIDS education bill clears final hurdle

Bill to reduce infant deaths now heading to the governor for his signature into law

HARRISBURG, Oct. 5 – State Rep. Lawrence Curry’s bill that would provide new parents with important information on preventing infant deaths is just the governor’s signature away from becoming law.
 
House Bill 47 would require hospitals and nurse midwives to provide new parents with information on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Sudden Unexpected Death of Infants. The bill cleared its final hurdle Monday when the House voted to concur on a Senate amendment providing immunity for any hospital, birthing center or health-care practitioner that provides parents materials relating to SIDS and SUDI.
 
“Very often, young or inexperienced parents don’t realize they may be putting their babies at risk by laying them on their stomachs, putting them in a crib with a thick comforter, or by letting them fall asleep in the parents’ bed,” said Curry, D-Montgomery/Phila. “We can help young families avoid this horrible tragedy simply by teaching them safe sleeping practices, which this bill mandates.”
 
Some of the most common risk factors for sudden infant death include:
Unsafe infant sleeping position,
Inappropriate infant bedding and bed sharing with parents,
Exposure to smoke, and
Overheating.
 
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, in 2008 (the most recent available period) 85 infants in Pennsylvania died as the result of SIDS or accidental suffocation and strangulation. In 2007, that number was 93.
 
Of the deaths reviewed by Child Death Review Teams in 2008, 7 percent were sleep related:
77 percent of these deaths occurred in infants;
25 percent of the sleep-related deaths were categorized as SIDS;
100 percent of the SIDS deaths were infants younger than 6 months; and
51 percent of the sleep-related deaths involved sleeping with others.
 
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