Who Were The First Babies Born in 2015? Health Care Providers Are Keeping It a Secret Due to Safety Concerns
Nothing says New Year and new beginnings like a baby born at the stroke of midnight. Traditionally, communities announce the first baby of the year every January 1 — but this time around, many places are keeping the lucky 2015 newborns' identities a secret due to safety concerns.
While babies always make for adorable human interests stories (and help journalists deal with a slow holiday news period), there is increasing concern that the media frenzy that usually surrounds the first newborn of the year's identity could put the baby's safety at risk. Community Health Systems, one of the largest health care operators in the U.S., recently advised its 207 facilities to keep all the joyful birth announcement hush hush. According to the AP, the operator cited the potential for abductions and identity theft as motivation for this decision.
"We know the birth of the new year baby is a joyous and exciting event, but protecting patient safety and privacy is our most important responsibility," said Tomi Galin, spokeswoman for Community Health Systems. Galin added that this was a preventative measure rather than a reaction to threats or abduction attempts.
"We know the birth of the new year baby is a joyous and exciting event, but protecting patient safety and privacy is our most important responsibility." -Tomi Galin, spokeswoman for Community Health Systems
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children recommends health care providers seek parental consent before publishing any information on newborns (duh). "We've never given direction to hospitals that they shouldn't do it," said the center's Robert Lowery, emphasizing caution, not panic. The Center also advises leaving out home addresses and other identifying personal information from birth announcements, or at least not giving out all the deets to the media.
Sure, all those stories of ringing in the new year with a new family member are completely heart-melting, but I think we can totally make do with anonymous cute babies. And if you're still itching to read up on a cute baby's life story (hey, we've all been there), there's always royal baby Prince George. Or, you know, Snooki's baby. Welcome, 2015 newborns!