Press Releases

Kuster Praises Bipartisan Effort to Pass Scarlett’s Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act

**Rep. Kuster’s great-niece Lia was lost to Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) in 2018 before her first birthday**

Today, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) spoke on the House floor to recognize the bipartisan effort to pass legislation to help research and prevent Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) and support families who have lost a child to it. Kuster helped to advance the Scarlett's Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act in the Energy and Commerce Committee in July, paving the way for this week’s vote on the House floor.

In 2018, Congresswoman Kuster’s family lost her great-niece Lia to Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) before her first birthday. Their loss was felt by the 62 Granite State families who also lost an infant to a sleep-related death, like SUID, between 2011 and 2018. In January, Rep. Kuster shared Lia’s story in an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing where they heard from experts to explore how we can prevent unexpected and unexplained deaths among infants and children. Rep. Kuster is committed to improving child and maternal care to prevent families from losing a precious young one unexpectedly.

Read Rep. Kuster’s remarks below or watch here.

Thank you Mr. Chair. 

Today, I rise to speak in support of legislation we considered earlier this week, the Scarlett’s Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act. 

More importantly, today I rise in the memory of my great-niece, Lia, who died from SIDS just two years ago. As her mother and grandmother, my sister, said, our family will never be the same.

Lia is with me, in my heart, and in the work we do in Congress every day. She turned out to be a formidable advocate at just six months of life.

Each year, roughly 3,500 infants tragically pass away from sudden, unexpected death in the United States, impacting families across this country in unimaginable ways. 

While the incidence of SIDS has declined by more than 50% since the 1990s, we still have so much work to do to better understand the cause of Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome and advance research that can develop prevention strategies and further reduce infant mortality in America.

The bipartisan legislation that the House passed this week, the Scarlett’s Sunshine on Unexpected Death Act, is a comprehensive approach to improving national guidelines and data consistency for sudden infant death and sudden unexpected death for children. 

It also offers support for the families grieving their loss, and supports evidence-based approaches for outreach to decrease risk factors.

I am a proud sponsor of this bill, for my great-niece, Leah, and am pleased to see the House advance this important legislation this week.