LANSING — New legislation from state Representative Andy Schor (D-Lansing), House Bill 5517, passed out of the House Health Policy Committee today, and comes on the heels of the representative’s resolution that declared September as Safe Sleep Awareness Month in Michigan. The resolution, HR 323, passed the House on Sept. 7, and HB 5517 now awaits action on the House floor. Both the legislation and resolution deal with safe sleep policies for infants, which are proven to protect them from SIDS, infant suffocation and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death.
“Infant death while sleeping is very preventable,” said Rep. Schor. “As safe sleep practices became common over the last two decades, infant deaths have gone down drastically. This legislation will ensure parents who work have peace of mind regarding the safety of their children if they choose to use day care.”
Schor’s bill requires licensed child care facilities, group child care homes and family child care homes that care for children under one year of age to implement and have readily available to parents a safe sleep policy. It also requires the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to have a model safe sleep policy available for licensees.
Generally accepted safe sleep practices include placing babies on their back for sleep, on a firm mattress that fits snuggly in a crib with approved slat spacing. The crib should be free of soft objects like stuffed animals, loose bedding and blankets, bumper pads or other items that could cause strangulation, entrapment or suffocation.
“Many Michigan working parents rely on child care for their children,” said Rep. Schor. “It’s critical that these facilities have up-to-date safe sleep practices to protect those kids. This legislation is about adding another layer of safety for our children when they’re in the care of someone other than a parent, and I hope for a speedy approval.”