CHAPPAQUA MOM INSPIRES BILL TO TRAIN TEACHERS IN FOOD ALLERGY EMERGENCIES
Brewster, N.Y. – (5/14/2013) – Senator Greg Ball (R,C,I-Patterson) announced today that he is co-sponsoring S4876, a piece of legislation that will require newly certified teachers to receive instruction on the use of an epinephrine auto-injector .
Food allergies occur in approximately 8% of children, and according to the National Institutes of Health, there are 150 deaths per year due to food allergies. Epinephrine is vital to the survival of a person experiencing anaphylaxis (a sudden, potentially fatal reaction to food or insect stings). However, it must be administered in a timely manner for it to be effective.
While every school district has a medical officer, there is no requirement that a nurse be present in a school building at all times. Given the possibility of a delay in getting a licensed healthcare provider to a child in anaphylaxis shock, it is important that teachers understand how to use an Epipen,
The force behind the legislation is Stacey Saiontz, a Chappaqua parent, with a young son that has life-threatening allergies to dairy, egg, wheat, oat, rye, barley, tree nuts and sesame.
“I never leave my son with an adult or babysitter who doesn’t understand how to administer an epinephrine auto-injector. However, in New York State, teachers who we entrust our children with for the majority of our waking hours, are not required to be trained,” said Saiontz. “This life-saving medication can be used in the event of a severe allergic reaction at school.”
“With the number of children being diagnosed with food allergies on the rise, this is a common sense bill that we need to pass to protect our children. We cannot wait for a tragedy to occur before we act, let’s be proactive and pass this bill now,” said Senator Greg Ball. “I would like to thank Mrs. Saiontz for her work on this bill and for bringing the issue to my attention. She has my full support in fighting for her son and for all the children across New York State with food allergies.”
The Bill does not cost the state any money as there are several free online courses that will train teachers. The school nurse would also be allowed to provide the training. Furthermore, the bill provides liability protection to teachers under the Good Samaritan Law.
For more information, please contact Joe Bachmeier: (845) 200-9716.