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BABY DOUGLAS BILL IS LAW

Nov 17, 2004

Posted By: Bruce Mildwurf

(Mobile, Ala.) November 17 - The Baby Douglas Bill - designed to protect children in daycare is now an Alabama law.

The governor signed the bill six months ago but it did not go on the books until now, more than two years after baby Douglas died.

Douglas Hernandez would have been exactly 2 years and 5-months old on Wednesday. His life though was tragically cut short when he was 10 weeks old after being given unauthorized medication at his daycare. But now his name and memory will live on forever.

"It's a legacy for my son he didn't die in vain and this law will protect other infants." said Douglas' dad Robert Hernandez.

The Baby Douglas Bill, now a law makes it a felony to give medication at a child care facility with the intent to drug the child or alter the child's behavior, beyond what is medically prescribed. The term medically prescribed is interesting in that if you check a medicine bottle label specifically for children or infants it says for children under the age of 2 ask a doctor and sometimes that's even the case for children under the age of 6.

"That if they didn't have an age appropriate dose on the bottle and something happens then they're going to jail." said Douglas' mother Mary Hernandez. She added, "You can have your physician write a prescription of an over the counter medication to give the proper dose for your child and provide that to your daycare provider."

Robert said, "It's important we made something positive out of something so difficult and horrible for my family."

What the baby douglas bill says is that if a child dies at a daycare facility because someone who works there illegally gave the child medication the sentence, if found guilty is 20 years to life in prison.

The Alabama State Legislature unanimously passed the Baby Douglas Bill.

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