The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Scarlett’s Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act – bipartisan and bicameral legislation introduced by Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03), and Representatives Gwen Moore (WI-04) and Tom Cole (OK-4). The companion measure to this legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Bob Casey, Johnny Isakson, Sherrod Brown and Doug Jones passed the Senate earlier this year.
This bill will provide critical support for advocates and families impacted by Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) and Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC). It would also provide grants to states, municipalities, and nonprofits to improve data collection and death scene investigations for deaths categorized as SUID or SUDC. Additionally, this legislation would help promote safe sleep practices to help prevent these tragedies and when one does occur, ensure a death review is conducted.
The United States has one of the highest infant mortality rates among other developed nations and this legislation is a crucial first step in addressing this crisis.
“I’ve heard one too many heartbreaking stories from parents who have lost a child due to SIDS, which are unbearable losses to these families,” Herrera Beutler said. “I’m pleased the House approved this critical, bipartisan legislation today that aims to help identify possible causes to sudden and unexpected deaths among children and infants and prevent other families from experiencing these terrible tragedies.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are roughly 3,500 sudden unexpected infant deaths and 400 sudden unexpected child deaths in the U.S. each year.