Rep. Bennett’s SIDS Education Enhancement Becomes Law

New parents in Illinois will be ensured to leave the hospital with good, updated information on how
to protect their newborn from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) under a new law spearheaded by State Representative Tom Bennett.

Bennett’s measure, signed into law Thursday as PA 99-0048 ensures that the materials on SIDS prevention new parents receive at the hospital will include information developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics or a statewide or nationally recognized SIDS or medical association.

“Each year we learn more about SIDS, including how best to prevent it. It’s crucial that new parents leave the hospital armed with the most up-to-date and reliable information available on how they can protect their newborns,” Representative Bennett said. “I’m very happy that my first bill signed into law may help save a baby’s life.”

Representative Bennett said the new law was suggested by Judy Jo Arbour, Vice President and Co-Founder of the Because of Cody SIDS education organization based in Bourbonnais, who lost a grandson to SIDS.

Representative Bennett noted that the recent “Back to Sleep” education campaign has helped reduce SIDS-related deaths by 50% over the past several years. The updated SIDS prevention campaign is called “Safe Sleep”. Steps include:

• Sleep baby on their back
• Alone in the crib
• Firm mattress
• Ensure baby’s room has good air circulation

• Smoking should be avoided
• Leave pillows, quilts toys and bumper pads out of the crib
• Educators recommend putting baby’s feet at the foot of the crib
• Experts recommend giving babies a pacifier while sleeping for the first year
• Protect baby from becoming overheated