As a well-established allergist in Glastonbury, and Ranking Member of the Legislature’s Public Health Committee, State Representative Prasad Srinivasan (R-31) stood today in the House Chamber to offer his support for a bill that would improve school policies on managing life-threatening food allergies.
House Bill 5452 requires the following of all local and regional boards of education:
- Allow students with life-threatening food allergies to participate in all course curriculum and any culinary program, other than those offered at a technical high school, by implementing allergen restrictions and safety protocols.
- Include their current plan for managing students with life-threatening food allergies and glycogen storage disease in any school climate or wellness programs that they adopt.
It also requires the State Department of Education to:
- Revise and update the “Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum” framework to include life-threatening food allergies and
- Include dietary restrictions, cross-contaminations, and allergen identification in an any culinary arts program or curriculum standards related to the National Family and Consumer Sciences Standards.
- Apply for available federal or private funding to promote public awareness and education about food allergies.
- Revise existing guidelines on managing students with life-threatening food allergies and glycogen storage disease.
Finally, the bill requires all public school district superintendents to annually attest to the State Department of Education (SDE) that their district is implementing this expanded management plan beginning in 2019.
“This is a very important bill that I am happy to have seen pass through the House Chamber,” said Rep. Srinivasan. “I also thank the proponent for reassuring me today that this bill would continue to allow capable students to self-administer epinephrine, or an EpiPen, if necessary. If they are incapable, due to their age or an anaphylactic reaction, an educator or a bus driver will be allowed to administer it and get the student out of immediate danger. Parents can rest assured that their child will receive the care they need to escape any long-term danger that an allergic reaction can cause, in addition, because the training that such educator or bus driver would receive regarding epinephrine administration would also teach them the importance of what comes next; which is calling 911 and monitoring the student while waiting for help to arrive.”
The bill has now been transferred to the Senate, where Rep. Srinivasan hopes it will receive a vote before session ends on midnight on Wednesday, May 9th.