Friday, February 05, 2010

SBS Prevention Act 2010

Senator Dodd and Congresswoman Lowey have reintroduced the SBS Prevention Act.  

In the Senate, it's S.3003.  Note that cosponsors are needed...
S.3003 A bill to enhance Federal efforts focused on public awareness and education about the risks and dangers associated with Shake Baby Syndrome. 
Sponsor: Sen Dodd, Christopher J.[CT] (introduced 2/4/2010) Cosponsors (None
Latest Major Action: 2/4/2010  Referred to Senate committee.
Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
In view of Senator Dodd's decision not to seek reelection, let's hope the second time will be the charm...

Below, Senator Dodd's introductory remarks in the Senate...with far too many names.


[Page: S495] GPO's PDF
By Mr. DODD: 

   S. 3003. A bill to enhance Federal efforts focused on public awareness and education about the risks and dangers associated with Shaken Baby Syndrome; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

   Mr. DODD. Mr. President, today I rise to introduce the Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Act of 2010, important legislation that promotes awareness and prevention of Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma, a devastating form of child abuse that results in the severe injury, disability or death of hundreds of children each year.

   Child abuse and neglect is a well-documented tragedy for some of our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. According to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, NCANDS, 794,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect in 2007. Babies are particularly vulnerable; in 2007, children aged 12 months or younger accounted for nearly 40 percent of all child abuse and neglect fatalities and children aged 4 years and younger accounted for almost 77 percent. Yet even these disturbing statistics may not paint an accurate picture; most experts agree that child abuse is widely under reported.

   Abusive head trauma, including Shaken Baby Syndrome, is the leading cause of death of physically abused children, in particular for infants younger than one. When a frustrated caregiver loses control and violently shakes a baby or impacts the baby's head, the trauma can kill the child or cause severe injuries, including loss of vision, loss of hearing, brain damage, paralysis, and/or seizures, resulting in lifelong disabilities and creating profound grief for many families.

   Far too many children have experienced the horrible devastation of Shaken Baby Syndrome. A 2003 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that as a result of Shaken Baby Syndrome, an average of 300 U.S. children will die each year, and 600 to 1,200 more will be injured, of whom 2/3 will be infants younger than one. Medical professionals believe that thousands of Shaken Baby Syndrome cases are misdiagnosed or undetected, as many children do not immediately exhibit obvious symptoms after the abuse.

   Prevention programs can significantly reduce the number of cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome. For example, the upstate New York SBS Prevention Project at Children's Hospital of Buffalo has used a simple video to educate new parents before they leave the hospital, reducing the number of shaken baby incidents in the area by nearly 50 percent.

   In Connecticut, a multifaceted prevention approach involving hospitals, schools, childcare providers, and community-based organizations in awareness and training activities, including home visits and targeted outreach, has raised awareness and encouraged prevention across the state. Hospitals in many states educate new parents about the dangers of shaking a baby, yet it is estimated that less than 60 percent of parents of newborns receive information about the dangers of shaking a baby. Without more outreach, education, and training, the risk of Shaken Baby Syndrome will persist.

   With the introduction of the Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Act of 2010, I hope to reduce the number of children injured or killed by abusive head trauma, and ultimately to eliminate Shaken Baby Syndrome. Our initiative provides for the creation of a public health campaign, including development of a National Action Plan to identify effective, evidence-based strategies for prevention and awareness of SBS, and establishment of a cross-disciplinary advisory council to help coordinate national efforts.

   The campaign will educate the general public, parents, child care providers, health care professionals and others about the dangers of shaking, as well as healthy preventative approaches for frustrated parents and caregivers coping with a crying or fussy infant. The legislation ensures support for families who have been affected by SBS, and for families and caregivers struggling with infant crying, through a 24-hour hotline and an informational website. All of these activities are to be implemented through the coordination of existing programs and/or the establishment of new efforts, to bring together the best in current prevention, awareness and education practices to be expanded into areas in need. Awareness is absolutely critical to prevention. Families, professionals and caregivers responsible for infants and young children and must learn about the dangers of violent shaking and abusive impacts to the head.

   Additionally, this bill will include a study to identify the current data collected on Shaken Baby Syndrome and examine the feasibility of collecting uniform, accurate data from all states regarding the incidence rates of Shaken Baby Syndrome, the characteristics of perpetrators, and the characteristics of victims. It is my hope that having this information will enable us to better reach those who may be at risk for Shaken Baby Syndrome and, thus, prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome.

   On behalf of the victims of Shaken Baby Syndrome, including Cynthia Gibbs from New York, Hannah Juceum from California, Sarah Donohue from New York, Kierra Harrison from Nevada, Miranda Raymond from Pennsylvania, Taylor Rogers from Illinois, Cassandra Castens from Arizona, Gabriela Poole from Florida, Amber Stone from New York, Bennett Sandwell from Missouri, Jamison Carmichael from Florida, Margaret Dittman from Texas, Dalton Fish from Indiana, Stephen Siegfried from Texas, Kaden Isings from Washington, Joseph Wells from Texas, Dawson Rath from Pennsylvania, Macie McCarty from Minnesota, Jake Belisle from Maine, Benjamin Zentz from Michigan, Chloe Salazar from New Mexico, Madison Musser of Oklahoma, Daniel Carbajal from Texas, Nykkole Becker from Minnesota, Gianna D'Alessio from Rhode Island, Brynn Ackley from Washington, Rachael Kang from Texas, John Sprague from Maryland, Ryan Sanders from Virginia, David Sedlet from California, Reagan Johnson from Virginia, Skipper Lithco from New York, Brittney Sheets from New York, Madilyne Wentz from Missouri, Nicolette Klinker from Colorado, Brianna Moore from West Virginia, Shania Maria from Massachusetts, Dayton Jones from Pennsylvania, Breanna Sherer from California, Evelyn Biondo from New York, Kenneth Hardy from Pennsylvania, Alexis Vazquez from Florida, Joshua True from Washington, Stephen David from California, Michael Blair from Arkansas, Olivia Thomas from Ohio, Kaleb Schwade from Florida, Aiden Jenkins from Pennsylvania, Isabella Clark from Pennsylvania, Aaron Cherry from Texas, Dominic Morelock from Ohio, Emmy Cole from Maine, Chelsea Forant from Massachusetts, Joshua Cross from Ohio, Gavin Calloway from Maryland, Christopher Daughtrey from North Carolina, McKynzee Goin from Oregon, Bryce McCormick from Florida, and many other innocent lives lost or damaged, I look forward to working with my colleagues to see that this legislation becomes law so that we can expand efforts to eradicate Shaken Baby Syndrome.

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