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If you have a child that suffers from food allergies, as I do, then you should be aware of the pending bill The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act of 2009.
As a mother to a son who is allergic to peanuts, sesame and white fishes (and who was for the first 10 years of his life allergic to eggs) I am well versed in the frustration and worry that accompanies your allergic child when he or she enters school, changes schools or takes part in extracurricular activities at school. A simple “treat” brought in by a well-meaning parent or a birthday celebration can cause serious injury and possibly death for an allergic child. The “big” allergies, wheat, milk and peanut are familiar to just about everyone, but lesser known, but equally as dangerous allergies (such as those my son has to sesame and fish) can potentially kill a child due to the lack of education and a plan of action on the part of adults involved in the school system.
Here is a summary of the bill which was originally introduced in 2006 but was unable to garner the votes necessary to pass the United States Senate. It is now presently pending.
Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act of 2009 – Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop and make available to local educational agencies, schools, early childhood education programs, and other interested entities voluntary guidelines to develop plans for individuals to manage the risk of food allergy and anaphylaxis in schools and early childhood education programs. Directs that such guidelines address:
(1) parental obligation to provide the documentation of their child’s allergies;
(2) the creation of an individual food allergy management plan for each such child;
(3) communication between schools or programs and emergency medical services;
(4) reduction of exposure to anaphylactic causative agents;
(5) food allergy management training; and
(6) administration of epinephrine. Allows the Secretary to award matching grants to assist local educational agencies in implementing such food allergy and anaphylaxis management guidelines.
Interested parties should write to their representatives and senators to garner support for the bill. It may save a child’s life someday and that child might be your own.