SECTION 1. Section 1 of Chapter 111 as so appearing in the 2016 Official Edition of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following definition:-
“Baby box, boxes lined with a firm mattress and a fitted sheet such that it can serve as a safe sleep place for a newborn, and shall contain newborn infant care essentials aimed at promoting safe sleeping practices, as well as items to encourage safe and healthy habits for families transitioning to parenting.”
SECTION 2. Said Chapter 111 is further amended by adding the following new section:-
“Section 110D. Newborn Health and Safe Sleep Pilot Program.
(a) There shall be established in the department, by the commissioner, a newborn health and safe sleep pilot program designed to reduce infant mortality rates in the Commonwealth. The commissioner shall provide baby boxes or other products aimed at encouraging safe sleep practices in accordance with subsection (b) of this Section. The distribution of baby boxes or other products may vary by region, at the discretion of the commissioner, to meet the needs of the relevant community.
(b) The department shall require that any parent or guardian who wishes to obtain a baby box or other products aimed at encouraging safe sleep practices must first complete an online parent education syllabus to ensure proper use of the baby box as well as to educate on the accepted rules of safe sleep for infants. The department shall create an online portal on the department’s website containing a parent education syllabus. For the purposes of this section, a parent education syllabus shall be developed by the department and shall include, but not be limited to, risks associated with certain sleep conditions and safe sleep practices designed to reduce infant mortality rates. The department shall design and implement a sufficient certification process to ensure that a parent or guardian has completed the parent education syllabus prior to receiving a baby box.
(c) The department shall be responsible for monitoring the quality, appropriateness and effectiveness of the program and shall issue a report with their findings and recommendations to the Chairmen of the Joint Committee on Public Health and the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities within one year of the effective date of this section.”
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
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