HARRISBURG – A bill directing Pennsylvania schools to send home information about Type 1 diabetes and its warning signs passed the state House today. Sponsored by state Rep. Justin Fleming, D-Dauphin, the bill passed 182-20, with bipartisan support. Fleming said, “The most common age range for a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes is between 6-16. It’s critical that we reach parents and guardians with this information to identify this disease and save kids from needless suffering.”

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which the pancreas shuts down, failing to provide insulin that the body needs to regulate blood glucose. Those who have Type 1 diabetes are dependent on pharmaceutically manufactured insulin for life. For many, the signs of Type 1 diabetes can go unnoticed for longer periods of time resulting in a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, leading to serious health complications that may even be fatal. Recognizing the signs of diabetes early, along with targeted screening and monitoring, have been shown to reduce the incidence of DKA, reduce rates of hospitalization and, most importantly, save lives.