SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – School districts and day care centers would be required to follow new policies to protect children who develop symptoms of a life-threatening allergic reaction during the school day under legislation introduced by State Rep. Jonathan Carroll, D-Northbrook.
Carroll’s legislation is in response to the tragic death of Elijah Silvera, a 3-year-old who died in a New York preschool after going into anaphylactic shock due to a lactose allergy. Nearby caregivers were not prepared with an EpiPen, and New York recently passed “Elijah’s Law” to ensure that would not happen in the future.
“Our schools are responsible for keeping students safe and healthy, and they need to be prepared for medical emergencies,” Carroll said. “In Elijah Silvera’s case, that didn’t happen. I want to prevent any more tragic deaths like his, and this legislation will help accomplish that. If schools don’t have plans in place to address serious allergy attacks, many kids are at significant risk.”
Carroll is spearheading House Bill 3983, which creates the Childhood Anaphylactic Policy Act. This legislation requires school districts and day care centers to adopt policies to increase anaphylaxis preparedness and respond to any reactions that occur. The bill also requires parental notification of the policies every year.
Food allergies pose a consistent threat of inducing anaphylactic shock, especially in children. A recent study by the Food Allergy Research and Education program found that over 40% of children with food allergies have experienced a dangerous anaphylactic reaction, which almost always requires an immediate dose from an EpiPen and serious medical attention.
“In cases of anaphylactic shock, being prepared is key. Quickly administering an EpiPen and calling an ambulance can save a child’s life,” Carroll said. “I will keep working to make sure our kids get the health care they need, when they need it. Anything less is unacceptable.”