School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act

Today we want to share some information on a piece of legislation that could affect you, the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act (“The Act”).  We’ve shared tips for epinephrine at school and thought that this was a great topic to share since it’s something Neocate families can help to turn into a law.

The Act

The Act matters to all families that are concerned about anaphylaxis during school.  If you have ever witnessed an anaphylactic reaction, you know how fast and scary it can be.  An epinephrine auto-injector can provide temporary, immediate help before an emergency team arrives.  Epinephrine auto-injectors can help people without food allergies too, such as when an insect sting causes anaphylaxis.  Having an epinephrine auto-injector available at school can save precious minutes when any child or staff member has an anaphylactic reaction, much like the AEDs that are now available in many public spaces and offices to help during a heart attack.

The Effort

The Act is being considered thanks to the efforts of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, or FAAN.  Many of you might know FAAN already, since FAAN is a great resource for families dealing with food allergies.  You can read more about FAAN’s efforts relating to The Act here.  The Act would not require all schools to keep epinephrine auto-injectors on site, but it would provide incentives to states to require schools to do so.

FAAN has been working with representatives in both the Senate and the House of Representatives to bring attention and support to The Act.  The Act is still under consideration in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, so it isn’t a law yet.  Lawmakers may not be aware of how important this issue is to their citizens.

What You Can Do

Especially in an election year, it’s easy to think that one person’s actions cannot make a difference.  But this is something that matters to many Neocate families, and we can all make a difference!  Help us to help FAAN by making sure you let your legislators know how important it is to you to see The Act turned into law.  FAAN pulled together some excellent template letters that you can use, and they included links to locate your legislators. 

This can be a great chance to discuss where laws come from with your child, especially if she or he is learning about government in school!  The website for an organization called GovTrack provides a good summary of The Act here, which can help your child to understand and follow The Act on its journey.  You can help your child write letters to your legislators to help illustrate how the voices of individual citizens can be heard.  Your child may also be able to use The Act as part of a school project.

Would you feel more at ease if your child’s school kept an epinephrine auto-injector on hand for anaphylaxis emergencies?

– Rob McCandlish, RDN

Published: 02/28/2012
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