Health and Safety

Regulatory Provisions Concerning Public Health

CHAPTER 8. Inflammation of Eyes of Newborn

§ 801. Definition of inflammation of eyes of newborn.

Any inflammation, swelling, or redness in either 1 or both eyes of any infant, either apart from or together with any unnatural discharge from the eye or eyes of such infant, independent of the nature of the infection, if any, occurring any time within 2 weeks after the birth of such infant, shall be known as inflammation of the eyes of the newborn.

29 Del. Laws, c. 51, §  1;  Code 1935, §  779;  16 Del. C. 1953, §  901; 

§ 802. Reporting existence of disease; investigation.

Any physician, surgeon, obstetrician, midwife, nurse, maternity home or hospital of any nature, parent, relative and any persons attendant on or assisting in any way whatsoever, any infant or the mother of an infant at childbirth, or any time within 2 weeks after childbirth, knowing the condition defined in § 801 of this title to exist, within 6 hours thereafter shall report such fact to the local health officer of the city, town, village or whatever other political division there may be, within which the infant or the mother of any such infant may reside. The local health officer shall investigate or have investigated, each case as filed with the officer in pursuance with the law and any other such case as may come to the local health officer’s attention.

29 Del. Laws, c. 51, §  2;  Code 1935, §  779;  16 Del. C. 1953, §  902;  70 Del Laws, c. 186,, §  1; 

§ 803. Treatment of eyes on birth.

(a) The Department of Health and Social Services shall regulate the type of prophylactic treatment to be employed against inflammation of the eye or eyes of the newborn, the conditions under which such prophylaxis will be employed and the diseases for which reporting is required. Such regulation shall conform with standards promulgated by the United States Center for Disease Control, United States Public Health Service. A record of the prophylactic used and details thereof shall be recorded on the birth certificate.

(b) Nothing in this section shall require medical treatment for the minor child of any person who is a member of a recognized church or religious denomination and whose religious convictions, in accordance with the tenets and practices of the person’s church or religious denomination, are against medical treatment for disease.

29 Del. Laws, c. 51, §  332 Del. Laws, c. 4240 Del. Laws, c. 97, §  1;  Code 1935, §  779;  16 Del. C. 1953, §  903;  64 Del. Laws, c. 119, §  170 Del. Laws, c. 149, §  8670 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  1

§ 804. Penalties.

Whoever being a physician, surgeon, midwife, obstetrician, nurse, parent, relative or person attendant upon or assisting at the birth of any infant, violates this chapter, shall be fined not less than $5.00 nor more than $100.

29 Del. Laws, c. 51, §  4;  Code 1935, §  779;  16 Del. C. 1953, §  904;