We hope things are back to normal for you after the high wind damage here in Rochester. We take for granted all that we have until we lose it! Now if only the winter weather would finally cease and desist! This month we are focusing on schools and all the efforts going on to keep children safe. An interesting statistic is that nearly half of allergic reactions that occur in schools happen in the classroom rather than the cafeteria or playground. Also 55% of schools in the U.S. do not allow teachers to administer epinephrine and only half hire a full-time nurse. This could be a tragedy waiting to happen. Be sure and check with your school on the availability of epinephrine and encourage the principal to have all school personnel trained on how to use it. Meanwhile, think Spring!
After much consideration about where we are as an organization and how we continue the work towards our mission, we’ve decided to forgo this year’s trip to Albany. We’ll work closely with the allergy community to better understand their challenges as they manage their allergies and how we can better support them with legislative outreach and other advocacy activities.
Issues of anaphylaxis emergency school teacher training; restrictions upon pharmaceutical pricing policies and protecting families with food allergies in restaurants are very important to our community. We look forward to working with the Monroe County allergy community, health care professionals and NYS representatives and their staffs to support legislation to make it easy to keep our friends and family safe during an episode of anaphylaxis, no matter where they are. This information will be used to focus our attention on the right legislation as we continue our work in Albany next year.
We have had much success in the past with our Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Awareness Days in Albany, and another one is scheduled for May 3. We set up a table in the concourse entrance to the Legislative Office Building and speak to every legislator that walks by. When we have families join us it adds much validity to our cause as it hits home how allergies can affect anyone’s everyday life. Below are some of the legislative initiatives we are supporting this year. Call or write if you would like to join us!
By Jon Terry March 14th, 2017
Greetings from Jon Terry, the founder of the Allergy Advocacy Association. Concerning anaphylaxis, life-threatening allergies and epinephrine, important legislation is again being proposed during the current session of the New York State legislature. Under consideration are new laws for anaphylaxis emergency school teacher training; restrictions upon pharmaceutical pricing policies and protecting families with food allergies when they dine out at restaurants or fast-food service vendors.
It took the death of a student to mobilize action in the Chicago Public Schools to make sure anaphylaxis never happens there again. Schools were allowed to keep extra supplies of epinephrine auto-injectors on hand for use in an emergency, but local TV reporters found that many schools did not. But within two years of Katelyn Carlson’s death, all 700 Chicago Public Schools were given an extra supply of epinephrine auto-injector devices, along with training on how to use them and what to look for when a child suffers an unexpected allergic reaction. This is exactly why we are working to get legislation in New York State passed so that all school personnel will be trained.
For many children, the first time they suffer a severe allergic reaction to a food is when they’re in school. Chicago-area public schools can keep extra supplies of epinephrine auto-injectors on hand for just these types of emergencies, but NBC5 Investigates has discovered that a surprising number do not.
A rather frightening report presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology found that less than half of the 12,181 the schools surveyed allowed all teachers to administer epinephrine and nearly half did not have a full-time nurse available. This puts students, some of whom may not even know they have an allergy, at great risk since time is crucial in saving the life of someone experiencing anaphylaxis.
ATLANTA — Among the anaphylactic events reported in United States schools, nearly half occurred in the classroom rather than the cafeteria or playground, according to survey data presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
However, since 55% of schools did not allow teachers to administer epinephrine and only half staffed a full-time nurse, students undergoing a severe allergic reaction in these locations may not be treated promptly.