TOPEKA — Child care providers would face stricter guidelines promoting safe sleep practices and tougher rules on the people allowed to work in their facilities under a bill that passed the Kansas Senate on Tuesday.
An amendment to the bill, which was approved 35-4 and will now land on Gov. Sam Brownback’s desk, generated discussion about too much government oversight from some legislators who questioned the bill’s inflexibility.
The bill highlights safe sleep practices promoted by the American Academy of Pediatrics in an effort to decrease the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.
The proposal drew support from the Kansas chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Rep. Tom Burroughs, D-Kansas City, introduced the bill following a death in his family.
The bill would ban child care facilities from placing crib bumpers, blankets and other loose items in sleeping areas for infants. Sen. Ty Masterson, R-Andover, fought to allow mesh bumpers, arguing the Legislature was engaging in overregulation.
“We’re now moving into that crib,” Masterson said. “And we’re not even allowing some new technology, which this appears to be. It could be illegal to put a blanket on the baby to protect them from hitting their head on slats.”
Masterson asked unsuccessfully that the bill be sent back to committee for further discussion.
The bill also bars from living or working at child care facilities any individuals who are convicted of arson, convicted of or adjudicated for any crime that requires registration as a sex offender, or who are listed in any child abuse and neglect registries maintained by other states or the federal government that are similar to the Kansas Child Abuse and Neglect Registry.
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