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New’s update as of today……..Hanna’s law is Passing!
Holberg, Hall sponsor ‘Hannah’s Law,’ named for 4-year-old who died after choking on a grape
by John Gessner
Emotion gripped Ron Edlund of Lakeville as he talked about his granddaughter, Hannah Kozitza.
The 4-year-old died last June after choking on a grape at a North Mankato child-care center.
With only one staff member at the center trained in CPR, Hannah’s family is left wondering whether quicker intervention from a nearby teacher could have saved her.
“We’ll never know,” Edlund said at a state Capitol news conference Tuesday.
Two south metro lawmakers have sponsored a bill that requires all teachers and assistant teachers in state-licensed child-care centers to be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, including CPR for infants and children.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville, and Sen. Dan Hall, R-Burnsville, passed out of a House committee Tuesday and was introduced in the Senate. Holberg said the lobbyist for Minnesota’s licensed day-care association told her the group won’t oppose the bill.
Holberg, who represents District 36A, agreed to sponsor the bill in the House after getting a call from Edlund, one of her constituents.
Hall, who represents District 40, is a former first aid instructor who said he’s saved two lives using CPR.
“This law is just common sense to me,” the freshman senator said, a framed photo of Hannah nearby. “Anyone who looks at this face would say, ‘Let’s do something.’ ”
Hannah’s parents, Justin and Jenna Kozitza, spoke at the news conference.
“What we’ve had to go through in the last six, seven months is just unbelievable,” Justin said. “It’s hard being here. It brings out a lot of emotions. But we’re still here.”
“Hannah’s Law” would require teachers and assistant teachers to complete CPR training within 90 days of starting work, unless they’ve completed the training in the previous three years. The training would have to be repeated every three years.
The four-hour training costs about $60, Hall said.
The bill applies only to state-licensed child care, not county-licensed home care, Holberg said.
Many national child-care chains already required CPR training for their teachers, and parent demand would likely widen the practice even without the law, Holberg said.
The center Hannah attended, the Golden Heart Child Care Center, was fined $1,000 for negligence, according to Holberg.
A Minnesota family whose daughter died at her day care is trying to help other children. They’re trying to help with a bill making its way through the Minnesota legislature. Annie Stensrud explains from Mankato.
Just two and a half months past what would have been little Hannah Kozitza’s 5th birthday, her family strives to prevent another death like hers.
“Just an energetic little girl that was taken away way too young,”said Hannah’s father Justin Kozitza. To say Hannah’s death was a shock to family is an understatement.”It was terrible.
I don’t want to live that day again, it was terrible. A parent’s worst nightmare,” said Jenni.
Justin says everyday they re–live that June morning when Hannah choked on a grape at Golden Heart Daycare and eventually died. She’d gone to that daycare for quite some time and the Kozitzas trusted them.
“You expect your child to come home from daycare when you drop them off. You don’t expect to bury your child that night,” said Jenni. The daycare called the Kozitzas before calling 911. When paramedics got there, it was too late.
Hannah’s grandpa Tony heard the sirens. He found out what happened just a few minutes later.”It was really a sad situation when we got there. There was no less than twenty hospital staff working with her when we got there and we thought that we could bring her back, but it was already too late,” said Tony.
“It’s hard telling your eight year old daughter that her best friend and sister has passed away. And for her to go in there and see her and tell her to wake up, it was really hard to see. Nobody should have to go through that,” said Justin.
When the Department of Human services conducted their investigation, they found no proof that the employees who helped Hannah had been certified in CPR.In fact, the law only requires one employee of a daycare to be certified.
That’s why the new bill “Hannah’s Law” is moving through the legislature right now. “We’re in the process of passing that law so that everyone has to be CPR certified, so that this doesn’t happen to another family,” said Jenni.”If there would have been someone there at that immediate time, which this law should help with, then there might have been a chance that she’d be here today.”
The report shows that the daycare facility has changed some of its procedures for giving kids snacks. Hannah’s law has passed through several committees, but it still has a way to go.