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The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Bill H.2881 188th (2013 - 2014)

An Act to designate shaken baby syndrome awareness week

By Mr. Scibak of South Hadley, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 2881) of John W. Scibak and Elizabeth A. Poirier for the annual proclamation by the Governor designating the third full week in April as “Shaken Baby Syndrome awareness week”. State Administration and Regulatory Oversight.

Bill Information

John W. Scibak
Referred to House Committee on Bills in the Third Reading

Emergency Preamble

Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to Whereas, The most recent National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System figures reveal that almost 900,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect in the United States in 2005, causing unspeakable pain and suffering to our most vulnerable citizens; Whereas, Among the children who are victims of abuse and neglect, nearly four children die in the United States each day; Whereas, Abusive head trauma, including the trauma known as “Shaken Baby Syndrome”, is recognized as the leading cause of death of physically abused children; Whereas, Shaken Baby Syndrome can result in the loss of vision, brain damage, paralysis, seizures, or death; Whereas, A recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimated that, in the United States, an average of 300 children will die each year, and 600 to 1,200 more will be injured, of whom two-thirds will be infants under 1 year in age, as a result of Shaken Baby Syndrome, with many cases resulting in severe and permanent disabilities; Whereas, Medical professionals believe that thousands of additional cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome are being misdiagnosed or not detected; Whereas, Shaken Baby Syndrome often results in permanent, irreparable brain damage or death to an infant and many result in more than $1,000,000 in medical costs to care for a single, disabled child in just the few first years of life; Whereas, The most effective solution for ending Shaken Baby Syndrome is to prevent the abuse, and it is clear that the minimal costs of education and prevention programs may preclude enormous medical and disability costs as well as immeasurable amounts of grief for families; Whereas, Prevention programs have demonstrated that educating new parents about injury prevention and the danger of shaking young children can bring about a significant reduction in the number of cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome; Whereas, Education programs have been shown to raise awareness and provide critically important information about Shaken Baby Syndrome to parents, caregivers, daycare workers, child protection employees, law enforcement personnel, health care professionals, and legal representatives; and Whereas the deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to provide forthwith for the annual observance of Shaken Baby Syndrome Awareness Week,, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.

Bill History

Displaying 7 actions for Bill H.2881
Date Branch Action
1/22/2013 House Referred to the committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight
1/22/2013 Senate Senate concurred
9/24/2013 Joint Hearing scheduled for 09/30/2013 from 11:00 AM-03:00 PM in Minnechaug Regional High School
10/15/2013 House Bill reported favorably by committee and referred to the committee on House Steering, Policy and Scheduling
10/28/2013 House Committee reported that the matter be placed in the Orders of the Day for the next sitting for a second reading
10/30/2013 House Read second and ordered to a third reading
1/6/2015 House No further action taken

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