Legislation being debated by the Tennessee General Assembly would allow non-medical personnel to give insulin injections to diabetic school children.
The Tennessean newspaper reports the American Diabetes Association is lobbying state lawmakers for a measure that would allow teachers and coaches to administer the shots because not every school has a nurse.
In some cases, parents have to leave work and go to their child’s school to give the medicine. But the Tennessee Association of School Nurses cautions there is little room for error when giving insulin shots, and too much could send a child into a diabetic coma.
Similar laws, allowing school employees other than nurses, have passed in other states.
Child-safety advocates are asking Kentucky lawmakers to strengthen the state’s booster seat law and bring it in line with national guidelines.
A 2008 law passed by state lawmakers requires that children be in a booster seat until they reach the age of 7 or a height of 50 inches. National standards go further, however, with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration recommending that children be kept in booster seats until they reach the age of eight or a height of 57 inches.
The Herald-Leader reports that a bill filed in the General Assembly would bring the commonwealth in line with neighboring states. House bill 199 would require boosters for children younger than nine who are 40 to 57 inches in height.
Advocates say the need for change is supported by research. A study done by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found that using a booster seat for children ages 4 to 8 reduced the risk of injury during a car wreck by 59 percent.
The Speaker of the Kentucky House is signaling that a bill designed to fight heroin stands a good chance of passing his chamber this year.
Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo was quoted by the Courier-Journal as saying the odds of the bill passing the House are “pretty good”, given that lawmakers have shown a bipartisan ability to back legislation battling illegal drugs. A bill sponsored by Senate Republican Katie Stine seeks to increase the punishment of those convicted of selling high-volumes of drugs while increasing access to substance abuse treatment centers for addicts.
Stine’s bill passed the full Senate on Thursday and is now being considered by the House.
The northern Kentucky lawmaker says her part of the state has seen its treatment centers and law enforcement agencies swamped by a major surge in heroin abuse.
The Courier-Journal reports defense attorneys are objecting to a part of the bill that would help prosecutors convict some drug dealers of homicide when the sale of illegal drugs results in overdose deaths.