Bipartisan Bill to Make Airplanes Safer for Children

WASHINGTON, DC – Representatives Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) and John Faso (NY-19) announced bipartisan legislation to upgrade emergency medical supplies for children on airplanes.  Currently, airplanes are not required to carry child-sized doses of emergency medicine onboard passenger aircrafts. The Airplane Kids in Transit Safety (KiTS) Act would address this gap in safety rules.

“As a dad, my biggest nightmare is something bad happening to my kids – that means worrying about everything from life-threatening medical conditions to mild allergic reactions. Every family deserves to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing their airplane is properly equipped for an emergency situation,” said Rep. Maloney. “It’s unacceptable that airplanes today don’t have emergency medicine for kids, so our bipartisan bill will fix the problem by making the FAA enforce emergency medical requirements for children.”

“This is common-sense legislation everyone can support. Airlines should equip their fleets with live-saving medical supplies that meet the specific needs of children. I’m pleased to see strong third-party support for this positive change. An airline should never be unprepared or ill-equipped, especially at 30,000 feet in the air,” said Rep. Faso.

“When a parent boards a commercial flight with a child, the last thing on their mind should be whether their child will be safe in the event of an in-flight medical emergency. Yet, right now, medical kits found on airplanes are not equipped to treat children during potentially fatal emergencies. The Airplane KITS Act is a needed step forward to fix that, by requiring the Federal Aviation Administration to update emergency medical kits onboard airplanes to include safe, effective medications and medical equipment designed to meet children’s unique needs. The American Academy of Pediatrics applauds Senators Brian Schatz and Jerry Moran and Representatives Sean Patrick Maloney and John Faso for their leadership to advance this critical legislation that will make air travel safer for children,” said American Academy of Pediatrics President Fernando Stein, MD, FAAP.

With more Americans travelling by air than ever before, adult travelers can generally feel safe knowing that, in the case of a medical emergency, a well-trained flight crew will have the medical equipment necessary to treat them. But shockingly, the Emergency Medical Kits (EMKs) required on commercial flights are woefully inadequate for treating the most vulnerable passengers: children. Given the vulnerability of infants, children and adolescents during medical emergencies, it is imperative that the FAA update their outdated regulations on the contents of EMKs.

The Airplane KiTS Act would specifically require the FAA, within 1 year of enactment, to initiate a rulemaking to update the requirements for EMKs to ensure that they contain appropriate medication and equipment to meet the emergency needs of children.

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