The New York State Senate today announced that a new law taking effect tomorrow, December 19, will help protect the lives of children with severe food or other allergies. The measure (S6005A), sponsored by Senator Terrence Murphy (R, Yorktown Heights) and passed by the Senate in June, allows bus drivers to administer an epinephrine auto-injector, like an EpiPen, in emergency circumstances.
“The passing of this legislation will further benefit our children’s safety,” said Senator Murphy. “If they find themselves in a life-threatening situation, a bus driver now has the authority to administer epinephrine. Having an EpiPen available and someone who is trained to use it can literally save lives.”
Food and other allergies, such as bee stings, present an ever-increasing danger to children across the United States. If a child with severe allergies is exposed or accidentally consumes an allergen, this can produce a serious reaction called anaphylaxis, which can lead to death. An epinephrine injection works to help immediately reverse the effects of anaphylaxis and is critical in the treatment of severe allergic reactions.
While prior law allows those employed by school districts and other educational institutions to administer the live-saving injection, those who work for agencies contracted out by a school district, such as transportation services, were not authorized.
Thousands of children travel to and from school every day by bus. Many children may eat breakfast or a small snack, increasing the likelihood of a child being exposed to an allergen and having a severe reaction. While children with allergies to certain foods frequently carry their own EpiPen or other medicine, this new law will allow bus drivers to administer the injection and save the child’s life.