A new law is currently in the New York legislative pipeline that would require New York City schools to notify parents when a bed bug infestation is discovered.
The Assembly Bill, A5434 (see the full bill here) would require schools to notify all parents of schoolchildren when a bed bug infestation is discovered in their school. Parents must then be provided with educational materials that offer information on prevention and treatment.
Bill creator, Assemblyman Michael Gianaris, feels that the bill is essential step in prevention efforts:
"Parents need to be notified when their children are exposed to these irritating and harmful parasites," said Assemblyman Gianaris. "It's high time we take strides to prevent the spread of these nasty creatures that have plagued thousands of New Yorkers."
—Excerpts @ ABC 7 Online
In addition to parental notification, Gianaris’ bill would also require New York City school health services to inform the entire community that bed bugs were found. Under current NYC law, schools need only notify the parents of effected children. The new bill will give every parent the opportunity to protect their children and enhance their own bed bug prevention methods.
This bill may prove to be a landmark moment in bed bug public awareness efforts. Because bed bugs are often a community-wide problem, the additional clause stipulating the notification of entire community is a powerful step in awareness and opens up opportunities for community engagement and discussion about bed bugs.
Gianaris has put forth a forward-thinking bill that may serve as a template for other cities and states to follow. If enacted, this bill will put us in a better place for effective communication and awareness about bed bugs, but first it needs to get through the NYC governor.
Story provide by (ABC 7 via Jennifer Matarese)