Poloncarz Applauds New York State Legislature for Approving Legislation to Prevent Unsafe Sleeping Deaths

Modified: June 17, 2016 1:22pm

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A bill similar to an Erie County-proposed amendment to the NYS Public Health Law has passed both the NYS Senate and Assembly and will require parents and caregivers of newborn children to review information regarding safe sleeping practices.

The amendment to Section 2803-j of the Public Health Law makes it mandatory for hospitals and birthing centers to request that each maternity patient receive information, either in a leaflet or video presentation, that “includes recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics relating to safe sleep, including sleep space and sleep position, and discussion on how to reduce the risk of infant death through safe sleep practices.”

The bill will now head to Governor Cuomo for his approval.

The Erie County Department of Social Services had recommended this reform in 2014 in a package of legislative reforms designed to improve the child welfare system in New York State. The amended bill can be read here, while Erie County’s original proposal can be read here.

“Co-sleeping remains one of the primary preventable causes of fatalities of infants and toddlers, but we are working to diminish those numbers through increased education and outreach to new parents and caregivers,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “This amendment to the NYS Public Health Law will aid greatly in ensuring that new parents are more aware of the dangers of co-sleeping and have the information they need to keep their children safe. I strongly urge Governor Cuomo to sign this important legislation.”

For more information:

On the Erie County Department of Social Services, visit http://www2.erie.gov/socialservices/