By Pat Kessler

By Pat Kessler, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — A little girl who died after being rushed to the hospital from her day care is at the center of a new bill introduced at the Minnesota State Capitol.

Hannah Kozitza choked on a grape at Golden Heart Child Care Center in North Mankato last summer. But Hannah’s family has many questions about how those caring for Hannah handled what happened that day.

WCCO’s I-TEAM found not everyone working at the day care that day knew or had been trained in CPR. That sparked Hannah’s Bill, which is now making its way through the state legislature.

Right now, under Minnesota law, only one person inside a child care center has to be trained in CPR. Hannah’s Bill would make sure all teachers and assistant teachers in child care centers complete CPR training.

The bill would bring a big change for day care providers but right now there’s no opposition for the bill. And her family thinks Hannah’s law might actually save someone else.

Seven months after Hannah’s death, there are still no good answers.

And the Minnesota State Capitol is the last place Hannah’s parents want to be. Amid tears, Jenni Kozitza is supporting a bill requiring all day care workers get CPR training.

“So that this doesn’t happen to another family. So that another family doesn’t have to go through the same pain that we’re going through every day,” she said.

The I-TEAM discovered Hannah’s day care workers didn’t realize right away she was choking. Once they did, there was no proof they had proper CPR training. And before calling 911, they called Hannah’s parents.

“The first thing you do is you yell out ‘Somebody call 911!’ That’s the first thing you do,” said Sen. Dan Hall, R-Burnsville, one of the authors of the bill.

Currently, day care centers like Hannah’s in North Mankato are required to have only one CPR trained staffer present, no matter how many children. This bill changes that and also requires one CPR staffer present on field trips.

“None of it makes sense but you can’t undo what happened. And we have to move forward,” said Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville.

Carrying Hannah’s portrait at the Capitol, her family is pushing for quick passage of Hannah’s law. They’re hoping it makes a difference for someone else.

“All I know is that I do not want anybody to have to go through what we are going through,” said her grandfather Ron Edlund.

Soon after it was introduced, a Minnesota House committee passed the bill unanimously. It will also move quickly through the Senate.

In fact, Holberg said she expects it to become law within a couple of weeks.

Click on the links below to see Liz Collin’s I-TEAM stories on Hannah Kozitza.
I-TEAM Investigates CPR In MN Day Care Centers
New Law: CPR Training For All Day Care Workers

Comments (14)
  1. Liz says:

    How about CPR and First Aid for classroom teachers? It seems that a lot of schools do not have a full time nurse and they are many children mainstreamed in to the classroom with disabilities not to mention the normal incidents that require CPR and First Aid.

  2. marlon says:

    This is a smart idea, not to mention the fact that it’s a productive way to honor this little girl’s memory. Child safety is worth the investment.

  3. Nancy Aleshire says:

    Great idea—children in day cares must be protected. Now let’s pass legislation protecting others without a voice (nursing home residents, those in group homes, & facilities that employ those with disabilites). Cameras in these facilities must be mandated by law. They have them on buses, banks, and convenience stores. Having cameras might have saved my son’s life.

  4. Andrea says:

    That is already law for in-home child care …… This should be standard for anyone that is in charge of the safety of another person young or old!

  5. Nancy Aleshire says:

    Putting a name on a bill puts a picture or someone’s life on an issue. Amber Alerts wouldn’t be the same without the image of that little girl who was kidnapped and murdered. There is also Jacob Wetterling and Adam Walsh. To those of us parents who have lost children having names on legislation means their lives were not spent in vain. Every time I go in a swimming pool I think of Abby Taylor, as well.

  6. dan h says:

    Is anyone doing a cost benefit analysis on the cost of training 100% of these employees in CPR vs the amount of theoretical lives saved??? Why not make it optional and give every parent the right to ask how many employees at their provider has been certified. I wouldn’t be surprised if some “CPR training” company is lobbying to get this passed.

    1. The Crux of the Biscuit says:

      Until what, 10,000 children die, it realy isn’t cost effective eh? I hope by chance I see you choking in a restaurant some day……

    2. wayne S says:

      Figuring the average class is $60 and a full time employee will work 4160 hours over the two year certification period, the cost per hour worked would be about 1.4 cents per hour or about twelve cents a day per full time employee. This is a pretty inexpensive amount when you consider the cost/benefit ratio. Hard to put a value on a human life, although the people sure do ask the courts to try.

      I have a company that teaches first aid and CPR. Believe it or not, most of my business comes not necessarily from people who are forced to do this because of a law, but from people and companies that think it is the right thing to do!

  7. The Crux of the Biscuit says:

    Golly geez, there goes the state trying to tell everyone how to run their companies again, right Republicans? More rules, more laws, taking away our civil rights or something. I bet good old (and I do mean OLD) Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman would have a thing or two to say about this nanny-state regulation. Doesn’t the state know that businesses will always be ruled by the MARKET and only the MARKET should dictate how companies run themselves?

  8. Pate says:

    Why in heaven and earth did the daycare staff call the child’s parents first BEFORE dialing 911?!?! That alone is ridiculous! As for the number of staff required to be trained in CPR,the daycare where i work exceeds that quota completely-every one of us eight teachers have updated CPR credentials.

  9. Becki says:

    I truly believe that all people working with children, whether it’s school, preschool, home daycares, daycare centers, should be required to be trained in CPR & 1st. I am a daycare provider that provides care out of my home. These parents are putting their most cherished people in our hands. They are trusting us with their little lives. We owe it to them to reassure them that their children are safe.

  10. Mark Heule says:

    I think that if it’s mandatory that child care providers be competent in CPR it should include the primary child care providers. Parents! How many of you are capable? Should you be held accountable if your child chokes to death on your watch? Food for thought.

  11. Angela - Starting Daycare says:

    I am required to have CPR and First Aid as a home daycare provider. I am hoping if ever in a situation I need to use it I will be able to use the skills I have been trained to use.
    I agree with having teachers trained as well.

  12. Victim Du Jour says:

    You sound like a daytime TV talk show junky.

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