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Some Schools Breaking Medical Law Protecting Young Diabetics

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Jim Williams (CBS) Jim Williams
Jim Williams, a native Chicagoan, co-anchors the CBS 2 Chicago Wee...
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(CBS) — It’s serious allegation, made by health care professionals: Many schools in the Chicago area are not obeying one Illinois law, and that could be putting some students in jeopardy.

CBS 2’s Jim Williams explains.

One year ago, Doris Meaux and her husband learned their 10 year-old daughter Taccarra had diabetes.

“We cried. We cried for some days,” Doris says.

They especially worried about their daughter when she was at school. Most days the school nurse was there. But on other days there was not.

That was alarming – and against the law.

Three years ago, the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation requiring schools to always have someone in the buildings trained to care for a child with diabetes.

Diabetes educator Marla Solomon and her team at the University of Illinois found schools throughout the Chicago area are not following the law.

“It’s not only Chicago public schools. It’s many schools. We’re working with the schools in the suburbs,” Solomon says.

The stakes are high. Doris says her daughter could go into a coma without treatment.

She her daughter’s school to have the lawful staffing. Today, officials say three people there can care for Taccarra and other children with diabetes.

“Diabetes is a 24 hour disease, and children are at schools most of those 24 hours if they’re not sleeping,” Solomon says.

Officials at UIC say one mother of a child with diabetes worked for years to convince state legislators to pass the law.

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