Pheffer Amato Passes Legislation to Prevent Childhood Drowning

South Queens, NY - Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-South Queens) and members of the State Legislature, in a unanimous and bi-partisan manner, passed Assembly Bill A.4987 which would require parents of newborn children to watch a video on the dangers of drowning before being discharged from the hospital. Currently, drowning stands as the leading cause of death in children under 4 years old.

The structure of the bill mirrors the decade-old requirement that parents of newborn children must watch a short video on Shaken Baby Syndrome before being discharged from the hospital. The bill seeks to educate new parents to the dangers of drowning that can occur by leaving a toddler unattended in or near two inches of water, like what can be found in bathtubs, buckets or toilets. The New York State Department of Health will create and disseminate a brief video which will provide information to parents of this very real and serious situation. The bill, which also unanimously passed the Senate, is now pending the signature of Governor Kathy Hochul.

“This is going to save lives,” said Pheffer Amato. “The fact that more children under 4 years old die from drowning than anything else is horrible. This is a real problem, and through this legislation we can address it and provide parents with the education to prevent a tragedy. I thank the advocates for their dedication to this issue, and I am glad to see our State take a tremendous step forward in keeping our children safe,” said Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato.