On Feb. 25, 2022, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and the Elijah-Alavi Foundation (EAF) released the “Child Care Policies for Food Allergy: Elijah’s Law Report for the U.S. States and Territories.” Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) is the food allergy division of AAFA.
Our report looks at state and U.S. territory child care licensing regulations against nine policy standards. The standards aim to protect children with food allergies in child care settings. The report also includes an advocacy toolkit to help you advocate for Elijah’s Law in your home state.
Elijah’s Law is a bill named in memory of Elijah Silvera. On Nov. 3, 2017, 3-year-old Elijah died after a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) at his child care center. Even though the facility knew of Elijah’s milk allergy, asthma, and other allergies, Elijah was fed a grilled cheese sandwich. The facility did not follow emergency steps to treat anaphylaxis.
Elijah’s parents, Thomas and Dina Silvera, set out to ensure protections are in place in all child care centers. Working with their state legislators in New York, the Silvera’s drafted the first Elijah’s Law. The bill ensures child care centers take steps to manage food allergies for the children in their care. These steps include creating:
- Emergency anaphylaxis protocols
- Strategies for talking about food allergies with children
- Plans for preventing exposure to food allergy triggers
Elijah’s Law was first passed in New York on Sept. 12, 2019, and later in Illinois on Aug. 20, 2021. More than 800 AAFA community members in those states answered our calls to action to help pass Elijah’s Law.
After these advocacy wins, AAFA and EAF decided to create this report to support the passing of Elijah’s Law in more states. We hope the report will help advocates, law makers, and other leaders better understand gaps in their states in protections for children in child care. We also hope the toolkit provides resources to help advocate for Elijah’s Law across the country.
The advocacy toolkit includes:
- Tips on how to find and communicate with your state and federal law makers
- A sample letter you can send to your state law makers in support of Elijah’s Law
- Elijah’s Law fact sheet
- Sample social media posts to help amplify your advocacy
- Sample bill language for Elijah’s Law
One death of a child with food allergies is one too many. Join AAFA and EAF in our efforts to make sure all children with food allergies are safe and protected in child care settings.
Read the “Child Care Policies for Food Allergy: Elijah’s Law Report for the U.S. States and Territories” report or download it as a PDF. You can also share the report with your community leaders, child care providers, and law makers.
This report is made possible by support from DBV Technologies.
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Would you like to help us advocate on future issues that affect people with asthma and allergies? We have two ways you can sign up to receive Advocacy Action Alerts.
- Text “AAFA” to 313131 to receive Advocacy Action Alerts and updates via text.
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