DES PLAINES, Ill. (April 20, 2016) – The Emergency Nurses Association praises the U.S. Senate for including provisions of the Airplane Kids in Transit Safety (KITS) Act of 2016 in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill. The Senate passed the FAA bill yesterday.
The KITS Act would require the FAA to update emergency medical kits on airplanes to ensure they contain appropriate medication and equipment to meet the emergency medical needs of children, including an epinephrine auto-injector.
Passage of KITS Act is one of the ENA’s priority bills in this session of Congress.
“I want to thank Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) for their work on this issue and for introducing the Senate version of the KITS Act,” said ENA President Kathleen E. Carlson, MSN, RN, CEN, FAEN. “We now urge the House to agree to keep this very important safety provision in the final version of the FAA reauthorization bill.”
According to a 2013 study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011. Congress has not required the FAA to update the contents of emergency medical kits since 1998.
Children make up 25 percent of the nation’s population and are more vulnerable than adults in the case of an emergency or disaster, Carlson noted. Pediatric patients have important physical and mental differences from adults that must be anticipated when preparing for a potential emergency. Children are not small adults and emergency planning must take into account the different medications and medical devices that children need.