Lawmakers set to hear dozens of bills on children health and safety

BOSTON — The issue of children’s health will be the topic of discussion on Beacon Hill Monday. Lawmakers are reviewing dozens of bills that address everything from smoking in cars to sugary drinks. Some health-related bills are not new, like keeping children away from any potential lead poisoning, but others could create new laws and restrictions.

For example, one bill introduced Monday will no longer allow people to smoke in cars when a child is one of the passengers. The bill suggests finding the driver $100 if caught smoking while a child is riding in the car with them.

Another bill would no longer allow beverage companies to advertise sugary drinks in schools. For example, advertisers would not be able to put their logos on scoreboards or vending machines if the drink cannot be sold during the school day because of the amount of sugar that’s in it.

And another bill aims to prohibit the sale of energy drinks to kids under 18 years old. Health officials say the amount of caffeine in these drinks can be harmful to kids. The bill would create fines for the retailer who sells the energy drink to anyone under 18.

On a similar level, there is another bill that proposes to ban over-the-counter diet pills or muscle building to kids under 18. Retailers would be subject to fines as well.

Lawmakers are taking up these bills at 1 p.m. Monday. It’s unclear when they will vote on them.