TMA Letter: Comments on House Bill 2574
House Committee on Transportation
March 31, 2015
Texas physicians appreciate Representative Johnson’s interest in protecting Texas children from the tragic and deadly outcomes related to leaving a child alone in a hot car. Representative Johnson’s House Bill 2574 highlights an important issue. However, the bill’s language establishes an education requirement as potentially a separate process from the existing parent education efforts already underway.
Heatstroke is but one of numerous health and safety issues important to new parents. There is an established mechanism for identifying education opportunities for new parents. Existing Texas law requires the Texas Department of State Health Services to distribute a resource pamphlet to health care facilities or providers to give to the parents of a newborn child. (Texas Health and Safety Code §161.501 Resource Pamphlet and Resource Guide Provided to Parents of Newborn Children.)
The required information for the pamphlet includes resources on postpartum counseling, shaken baby syndrome, immunizations, newborn screening, sudden infant death syndrome, and pertussis. We would encourage child health advocates to work together with the department to continue making resources available from a single location. This makes it easier to update, but also more convenient to access for physicians, hospital staff, and other health care providers who want to download and share information with new parents.
Current statute also allows the department to include additional information in the pamphlet and resource guide as appropriate. We look forward to continuing to work with the department on identifying issues important in protecting young Texans. We thank you for your interest in children’s health and safety.
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