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School Laws Protecting Students with Food Allergies

 by Lynda Mitchell

When it comes to creating a safe school environment for food-allergic students, some schools are more cooperative and informed than others.

In an effort to keep students with food allergies safer in the school setting, advocacy initiatives in recent years have focused on ensuring students have ready access to epinephrine, the first line of treatment for anaphylaxis. Advocacy initiatives have also focused on creating model guidelines at the state and federal level which schools can use to develop their own food allergy management policies.

These slides are from the talk on School Laws Protecting Students with Food Allergies which Lynda Mitchell, Senior Director of Kids With Food Allergies, presented at the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, on November 3, 2013. The presentation provides an overview of:

•    State Epinephrine Self-Carry Laws – Laws allowing students to self-carry their prescribed epinephrine auto-injector when they already have a diagnosis that puts them at risk for anaphylaxis.

•    State Stock Epinephrine Laws – Laws enabling schools to have epinephrine on hand as part of their general emergency medical supplies, for any individual at the school who may require an emergency injection of epinephrine for anaphylaxis. Studies have shown that 20 to 25% of anaphylaxis that occurs in the school setting affects individuals who did not have a prior diagnosis of an allergy (and therefore did not have their own prescribed epinephrine auto-injector).

•    Federal Bill for Stocking Epinephrine (Update: recently signed into law by President Obama) – Encourages states to adopt laws to require schools to stock epinephrine for emergency use.

•    State Food Allergy Management Guidelines – Voluntary model guidelines adopted by some states, which also incorporate applicable state laws.

•    Federal Food Allergy Management Guidelines – Voluntary model guidelines which states, schools and early childhood education centers can choose to adopt and modify based on their applicable state laws.


Lynda Mitchell is the founder and senior director of Kids With Food Allergies, a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. 


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