WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) introduced the Airplane Kids In Transition Safety (KITS) Act of 2016 (S. 2536) this week. The legislation, sponsored by U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), would urge the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to update its regulations regarding the medications and equipment required to be carried in airplane medical kits in order to better serve children in-flight.
“It is past time for the FAA to update its standards for medications and equipment on commercial aircraft to properly treat children when medical emergencies arise,” Sen. Moran said. “This commonsense legislation would be an important step in making sure these tools for children – who make up 25 percent of the population and are most vulnerable in an emergency – are available.”
American Academy of Pediatrics Executive Director Karen Remley added, “During medical emergencies, every second counts. Access to safe and effective medications and medical equipment during an in-flight emergency can mean the difference between life and death, and children are especially vulnerable due to their growing minds and bodies. Unfortunately, emergency medical kits currently required to be onboard commercial airplanes are not required to have pediatric equipment. The Airplane KITS Act is a critical step forward to keeping children safe during air travel by ensuring the appropriate equipment and medications are available on airplanes. The American Academy of Pediatrics applauds Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) for their leadership in introducing this important legislation.”
The current contents of emergency medical kits (EMKs) onboard commercial airplanes are outdated and do not contain appropriate medications and devices for treating children. Children make up 25 percent of the nation’s population and are more vulnerable than adults in the case of an emergency. Medical emergencies involving children can be fatal and emergency planning should take into account the different medications and medical devices that children need.