As the summer winds down and school begins, checklists and medical forms consume the time of many parents as they get their children ready for a new year. It is most important for families who have children with medical conditions to know that their children will be in safe environments with responsible educators and adults who understand their needs. My colleagues and I in the Ohio General Assembly have been striving to continually improve school safety.  That is why I co-sponsored House Bill 264, which addresses care for diabetic students in schools.  This legislation became effective for this school year.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, it is estimated that 8,000 Ohioans under the age of 20 have diabetes. Diabetes is a serious condition that must be managed at all times, and schools must be fully prepared in times of emergency.
House Bill 264, which was introduced by Representatives Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napoleon) and John Barnes, Jr. (D-Cleveland), requires a school district to ensure that each student with diabetes receives appropriate care as ordered by their physician.  During times when the school nurse is unavailable, school employees who volunteer will be trained to assist with diabetic care. These volunteers and the governing school are granted immunity from civil liability.  Additionally, diabetic students will be permitted to carry the necessary supplies and are able to self-administer their medication with written approval from their guardian or physician.
Before this bill, diabetic students would have to transfer from a school district without a school nurse.  With this bill’s passage, students can stay in their regularly-assigned school with their friends.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if ever I can be of assistance with any state government-related issue.  I wish you and your family all the best for a healthy and happy back-to-school season.

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