U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and other lawmakers have introduced a bill that would reduce infant fatalities caused by Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID).
Sen. Hagan, along with Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), introduced the Child Care Infant Mortality Prevention Act this week.
If passed, the bill would allow funding from the Child Care and Development Block Grant to be used for childcare provider training, according to Sen. Hagan's office. The training would include sleep practices, first aid and CPR for infants.
The bill would also require the secretary of Health and Human Services to update and make available to the public instructional, training and other materials on safe sleep practices and SUID prevention strategies, Sen. Hagan's office stated. The bill would not add to the deficit.
"As a mother of three, I know parents are concerned first and foremost about the safety of their children, especially when they are left in the care of others," said Sen. Hagan, who chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families. "Many cases of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome can be prevented with safe sleep practices, and this commonsense, bipartisan bill provides training and education to childcare providers so that North Carolina families don't have to experience an unnecessary tragedy."
Nearly 12 million children under 5 years old are in daily childcare, and it is estimated that childcare settings account for 20 percent of all SUID deaths in the United States, according to Sen. Hagan's office. In North Carolina, about 100 families experience SUIDS each year.
SUID is the third-leading cause of infant deaths overall and is the primary cause of death for infants between 1 to 12 months of age.