“I am so pleased that the Scarlett Sunshine Act is that much closer to becoming law. Too many families know the pain of unexpectedly losing a child. My bill takes a needed step towards addressing the heartache families feel and helping save the lives of precious children.”
The bill would provide grants to states, municipalities, and nonprofits to for a number of activities to better understand why these deaths happen and to prevent them, including to help improve data collection, to support best practices to reduce sleep-related infant deaths; and death scene investigations for deaths categorized as Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC), or Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) when it happens to infants under 12 months old (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, falls under the SUID umbrella). Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 445 children fell under the SUDC category in 2016, while 3,607 died under the SUID category.
“My heart goes out to each and every family that has every had to experience such a heartbreaking death and the lifelong pain that accompanies it, including that of Scarlett Lillian Pauley for whom this bill is named. I am grateful to be part of this effort to turn that pain into policy that will hopefully save other children and families from having to experience these tragedies.”
The Senate version of this measure has been championed by Senator Bob Casey and now retired Senator Johnny Isakson.
This bill has been endorsed by a number of organizations including Children’s Wisconsin, Progressive Community Health Centers, Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, the American Academy of Pediatrics, The Scarlett Lillian Pauley Foundation, March of Dimes, Cribs for Kids, First Candle, SUDC Foundation, Aaron Matthew SIDS Research Guild of Seattle Children’s Hospital, and Safe Kids Worldwide.
The Senate is expected to take up and pass this legislation shortly, sending it to the White House to be signed into law.