OKLAHOMA CITY – State Sen. Carri Hicks has been given approval for two studies to be held during the 2020 interim. One study will examine standards of care of diabetes and the needed insurance coverage to prevent negative health outcomes. A second study will look at the sale of padded crib bumpers and risks of suffocation and strangulation.
Hicks is co-chair of the Legislative Diabetes Caucus and is the mother of a young child with Type 1 diabetes.
“The sky-rocketing price of insulin remains a concern, even for Oklahomans who have insurance. That’s certainly one of the areas we need to focus on,” Hicks said. “But this study is particularly timely during the pandemic. Oklahomans with diabetes are at higher risk for complications and death if they contract COVID-19, but as we continue to learn more about what this virus does to the body, there’s also data that suggests it can actually trigger Type 1 diabetes in some individuals.”
Hicks’ other study will look at the connection between crib bumper pads and suffocation or strangulation risks.
A 2016 study published in the Journal of Pediatrics showed between 1985 and 2012, bumpers were attributed to 48 suffocations. Of those, 67 percent were from the bumper alone rather than clutter, blankets or other items. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a policy statement that same year which stated that because bumper pads have been implicated as a factor contributing to deaths from suffocation, entrapment and strangulation, and because they are not necessary to prevent entrapment with new safety standards for crib slats, crib bumpers are not recommended for infants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also warns against using crib bumpers, as does the Oklahoma State Health Department.
“A handful of states, including New York, Ohio and Maryland, have passed infant safety legislation addressing crib bumpers. I think this study is an opportunity to educate fellow members and the public about this issue and how Oklahoma can better protect infants,” Hicks said.
Hick’s study on crib bumpers has been assigned to the Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee, and her study on diabetes standards of care and insurance has been assigned to the Retirement and Insurance Committee. While the President Pro Tempore of the Senate approves proposed interim studies, it is up to the chair of the committee to which the studies are assigned to schedule meetings.
“As a legislator, a former educator and as a mother, I am focused on improving safety for infants and children and improving health outcomes for all our citizens,” said Hicks, D-Oklahoma City. “We must be proactive about infant safety, and we need to make sure Oklahomans with diabetes are able to access the appropriate medical care they need to avoid dangerous complications.”
For more information, contact Sen. Carri Hicks at 405-521-5543 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.