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Pippy Measure Combating Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Becomes Law

Pippy Measure Combating Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Becomes Law

Harrisburg – Legislation sponsored by Sen. John Pippy (R-37) to reduce incidents of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in Pennsylvania has been signed into law.
The measure will establish a program through the Department of Health to focus on awareness, education and prevention of SIDS, the third-most common cause of death in the first year of life.
Senator Pippy’s legislation will build on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ “Back to Sleep” campaign, which promotes the placement of infants on their backs both for sleeping and napping.  Although the incidence of SIDS decreased by over 50 percent since the inception of the campaign 14 years ago, some parents are still not aware.  

“New evidence has shown that two-thirds of preventable infant deaths during the first year of life are related to suffocation as a result of the infant being placed in an unsafe sleep environment,” said Pippy. “This new law will establish a program to distribute readily understandable information and educational and instructional materials regarding SIDS.  Hospitals and birthing centers would provide the educational and instructional materials to parents prior to discharge.”
“We are indebted to Senator John Pippy for his work in support of this bill in the Senate,” said Academy of Pediatrics fellow Eileen Tyrala, a pediatrician at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and Medical Director of “Cribs for Kids.”  “His efforts to stress the importance of the safe sleep education message and its implications for Pennsylvania families were crucial to the bill’s passage.” 

Under the program, parents will sign an acknowledgement statement indicating that they have read and understand the materials provided on SIDS.  The effort mirrors the Shaken Baby Syndrome program that is under the Department of Health.
“The death of an infant is a heart-wrenching tragedy, made all the more painful in cases where having the right information could have made the difference,” said Pippy. “We know that informing parents about SIDS prevents deaths, and this new law will make that information more readily available.”
Senator Pippy’s legislation, Senate Bill 577, was amended into House Bill 47 and signed into law. 


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