The state legislature is being asked to require child care facilities that care for children under one year old to have a policy for making sure they sleep safely.
Anna Haber of St. Louis is one of those urging lawmakers to make that a law. She and her husband told lawmakers her son, Owen, died last year at a care center.
“Living without our baby for the past eight months has been heartbreaking and unbearable. We want to prevent another Missouri family from enduring this loss,” Haber told a Senate committee while testifying alongside her husband, Aaron. “The bill before you is so important, it needs to become the law this year as we owe it to our babies.”
The bill would require care centers’ sleep policies be based on the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“It is widely accepted that safe sleep for infants includes nothing in a crib. It is common knowledge, especially among new parents, that a baby is to be placed on his or her back with nothing else in the crib,” Haber said.
Haber says she is confident that a state requirement of a policy would save lives, because of the conversations she had with the operators of the care center she and her husband had used, about how Owen had been cared for.
She asked, “questions about how and why he had been allowed to sleep on his stomach and why in the world a weighted blanket had been placed on his back when we had never given permission for anything to be placed in his crib. I was told that licensing rules did not prohibit blankets in a crib.”
“Because it was not prohibited, the center apparently believed it was okay,” said Haber.
The proposed language was originally offered in a Senate bill by Senator Scott Sifton (D-Afton) and in a House bill sponsored by Representative Jeanne Kirkton (D-Webster Groves). It has since been added to other bills.