COLUMBUS, Ohio – In an effort to reduce infant mortality in Ohio, Rep. Michael Stinziano, D-Columbus and Rep. Stephanie Kunze, R-Hilliard today introduced legislation to help educate parents about safe sleeping practices for newborns.
The proposal will require the Ohio Department of Health to develop educational materials about safe sleeping practices, and those materials would be shared with new parents, guardians and caregivers during their stays at hospitals and birthing centers across the state.
Sleep-related infant death is the leading cause of death in Ohio and the U.S. for infants 1 month to 1 year of age, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Ohio has the fourth highest infant mortality rate in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
“No parent should suffer the experience of losing a child when they should be asleep safe and sound, said Kunze. As a mother and state representative I find it very disappointing that Ohio is ranked 47 out of 49 states for black infant mortality. This piece of legislation will help move Ohio in the right direction.”
“I’m pleased to introduce this bill, which will help prevent tragic infant deaths caused by entirely preventable problems,” said Stinziano. “We need to work tirelessly to make sure our state helps parents provide the very best care for their babies.”
Stinziano’s bill follows the passage of Claire’s Law, (ORC 3701.64), which requires the development of information on shaken baby syndrome that is shared with new parents.