Michigan Governor Rick Snyder Signs Infant Safe Sleep Act to Help Prevent Infant Deaths and Educate Parents
"LANSING, MI -- Michigan hospitals will be required to provide new parents with information about the risk of infant death due to unsafe sleep practices under legislation signed into law Wednesday by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.
First Lady Sue Snyder, who has championed the Infant Safe Sleep Act, joined the governor, bill sponsor, department of human services director and two families who had lost children during an afternoon signing ceremony at the Romney Building in downtown Lansing.
[']Every child deserves the opportunity to thrive and grow to their full potential,['] Sue Snyder said. [']As a mother myself, the importance of safe sleep is close to my heart.[']
More than 130 Michigan children died due to unsafe sleep practices in 2013, according to the Department of Human Services. Director Maura Corrigan called the deaths entirely preventable and noted that babies should sleep by themselves, on their back, without any items in their cribs.
Public Act 122 of 2014, sponsored by state Rep. Gail Haines (R-Waterford), will require hospitals to educate parents and prescribe an acknowledgement form for safe sleep practices. Health professionals would be required to share information and educational materials for births that occur outside of hospitals as well.
The legislation also requires DHS to work with the Michigan Department of Community Health and other state and local groups to expand infant safe sleep education, and DHS is prepared to provide hospitals with materials at no cost.
The governor acknowledged that many health professionals already are working to education parents about safe sleep but said the new law will help them [']do it in a much more systematic way so we have general standards throughout Michigan.[']
Shareece Lee, a Michigan mother whose infant daughter died nearly three years ago, teared up as she shared her story at the signing ceremony, calling the moment a huge honor for her family.
[']As a mom and a nurse, I never imagined this kind of tragedy could happen to me in my home,['] Lee said. [']I always thought if my child was in distress, I would know, that my maternal instinct would kick in, and I would know how to handle it. But it did happen to me, and it could happen to anybody.[']"