STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2008 SESSION
Assemblyman LOUIS D. GREENWALD
District 6 (Camden)
Assemblyman DOUGLAS H. FISHER
District 3 (Salem, Cumberland and Gloucester)
Assemblyman ERIC MUNOZ
District 21 (Essex, Morris, Somerset and Union)
Requires DHS to provide information on shaken baby syndrome to parents of newborn infants.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel
An Act concerning shaken baby syndrome and amending P.L.1998, c.136.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 1 of P.L.1998, c.136 (C.26:2H-12.6a) is amended to read as follows:
1. a. The Department of Human Services, in consultation with the Department of Health and Senior Services, shall prepare a [pamphlet] resource guide which provides information on child abuse and neglect to all parents of newborn infants born in this State. The [pamphlet] resource guide shall be distributed to each parent present during the infant's birth, by the personnel at a hospital or birthing facility. A health care professional, designated by the hospital or birthing facility, shall discuss the information contained in the resource guide with the parents of a newborn infant [at the time of] prior to the mother's discharge, as part of the hospital or birthing facility's discharge procedures.
b. The [pamphlet] resource guide shall include information on the signs of child abuse and neglect, including shaken baby syndrome, the services provided by the State which help in preventing child abuse and neglect [and], the legal ramifications of abusing or neglecting a child and tips on child safety.
c. The department shall distribute the [pamphlet] resource guide, at no charge, to all the hospitals and birthing facilities in the State. The department shall update the [pamphlet] resource guide as necessary, and shall make additional copies of the [pamphlet] resource guide available to health care providers upon request.
(cf: P.L.1998, c.136, s.1)
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill requires the Department of Human Services (DHS) to include information about shaken baby syndrome in the resource guide concerning child abuse that is currently provided to parents of newborns pursuant to N.J.S.A.26:2H-12.6a. The bill also requires a health care professional, designated by the hospital or birthing facility, to discuss the information contained in the resource guide with the parents of a newborn, as part of the hospital or birthing facility's discharge procedures.
Shaken baby syndrome, a form of child abuse, is the collection of symptoms resulting from the violent shaking of an infant or small child. In the United States last year, between 1,200 and 1,400 children received treatment for injuries sustained from being shaken. An estimated 25% to 30% of those children died as a result of their injuries, with the remainder left with lifelong complications.
In addition to requiring DHS to include information about shaken baby syndrome, the bill amends the statute to replace references to "pamphlet" with "resource guide," to reflect language now used by DHS.