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Illinois Passes Elijah’s Law to Prevent Severe Food Allergy Reactions in Child Day Care Programs

 
Update: On Aug. 20, 2021, Governor Pritzker signed Elijah’s Law in Illinois. Thank you to the nearly 300 AAFA and EAF community members who contacted their Illinois lawmakers and Governor Pritzker to ensure this important bill became law.


The Illinois House and Senate have passed Elijah’s Law (HB0102). It is now waiting to be signed into law by Governor Pritzker. Under this bill, the Illinois Department of Public Health must create policies to prevent anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) in school districts and day care centers.

Illinois passes Elijah's Law to prevent severe food allergy reactions in child day care programs

Pictured left to right: Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, Ondina Hawthorne and Thomas Silvera (Elijah’s parents), Rep. Jonathan Carroll (chief House sponsor) and his daughter, and Senator Julie Morrison (chief Senate sponsor).


The bill also requires the department to create, give out, and post information on its website about the anaphylaxis policies. Schools and day care centers must tell parents and guardians of the policies at least once a year. And schools and day care centers must send the policies to each board of every school district, charter school, and day care center in the state.

Elijah’s Law is named after 3-year-old Elijah Silvera. He died from anaphylaxis, as severe allergic reaction, after eating a grilled cheese sandwich at day care. The facility failed to follow emergency anaphylaxis plans.

This is the second version of Elijah’s Law to pass in the United States. The first version of Elijah’s law passed and was signed into law in Elijah’s home state of New York in 2019.

Thomas Silvera, Elijah’s dad, co-founded the Elijah-Alavi Foundation (EAF). Its mission is to amplify Elijah’s Echo. The goal of Elijah’s Echo is to “raise awareness on the severity of food allergies and anaphylaxis as well as the importance of education and training.”

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has been proud to support Thomas’ and EAF’s campaigns to get these bills passed in New York and Illinois. We look forward to working more with EAF to ensure children in all 50 states are protected.

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Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) is a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). AAFA is the largest and oldest nonprofit patient organization dedicated to asthma and allergies. KFA educates families and communities with practical food allergy management strategies to save lives and improve the quality of life for children and their families. Our online community includes public blogs. To post a comment, you will need to register or sign in. Registered members have access to additional specialized support forums for food allergies. Registration is free!

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