Today, the Subcommittee on Health of the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved H.R. 2271, the Scarlett’s Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act, bipartisan legislation that Congresswoman Moore introduced in April 2019. The subcommittee’s passage moves the bill one step closer to becoming law. In response, Congresswoman Moore released the following statement:
“I think my colleagues on the committee, including Chairman Pallone, Chairwoman Eshoo, and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers as well as those not on the committee, like Congressman Tom Cole, who have been so helpful in getting us to this point.”
This bill is intended to help us to better understand the sudden and unexpected deaths of infants under age 1 and children between the ages of 1 and 18 so that we can take preventive and effective action to save lives.
“My bill not only provides resources to invest in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to train first responders to improve death scene investigations, to do child death reviews, and to promote safe sleep practices, but it also provides for education and support to parents as well,” said Congresswoman Moore.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017, about 3,600 infants died suddenly and unexpectedly.
Scarlett’s Sunshine Act would strengthen existing efforts to better understand sudden unexpected deaths in infants and children, facilitate data collection and analysis to improve prevention efforts, and support children and families.
- The bill authorizes grants to states and local agencies to increase the completion of comprehensive death scene investigations for sudden unexpected deaths in infants and children cases using standardized protocols and comprehensive autopsies.
- It also authorizes the CDC director to work with experts to develop recommendations for a standard protocol for utilizing genetic analyses along with standards and protocols for the collection and storage of specimens suitable for genetic analysis.
- The bill also provides training grants and materials for death scene investigators and authorizes the National Infant and Child Death Case Reporting System.
- The bill authorizes HRSA grants to enable 100 percent review of all infant and child deaths.
- The bill authorizes HRSA grants for outreach efforts to educate families on safer-sleep practices for infants.
“I want to also thank the parents of those children who have died such as Stephanie Zarecky, Scartlett’s mom, and John Kahan who have been such incredible advocates for this bill and for ensuring that no other parent has to endure what they have,” said Congresswoman Moore.
Among the organizations that have endorse the bill include: Children’s Wisconsin, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the March of Dimes, the Children’s Hospital Association, Cribs for Kids, First Candle, SUDC Foundation, KID: Fighting for Product Safety, Aaron Matthew SIDS Research Guild of Seattle Children’s Hospital, the Scarlett Lillian Pauley Foundation, Jaxin’s Cause, and Safe Kids Worldwide.