Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato’s bill, A4987, which would require parents of newborn children to watch a brief video on the dangers of drowning, has been signed into law by the Governor. The bill passed unanimously during the 2023 legislative session. Drowning currently holds the number one spot as the leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States in children under four 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 will 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 disseminate a brief video which will provide information to parents of this serious situation.
“Childhood drowning is preventable, and it starts with being educated. This law will ensure that new parents are becoming informed which will ultimately prevent tragedies. This is a tremendous step towards keeping the children of New York State safe; and as a parent I applaud the Governor for recognizing the importance of this legislation and prioritizing our children’s safety,” Pheffer Amato said.
The Assemblywoman is a longtime advocate for water safety. Pheffer Amato helped champion historic change in water safety through her previous legislation and the creation of the New York State Temporary Commission to Prevent Childhood Drowning which will evaluate and develop programs to properly educate and instruct children how to swim and water safety. She is also the lead sponsor that is working on bringing water safety-based curriculum into public schools in New York City, and throughout New York State.