McLEAN, VA, NOV. 13, 2013 – Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) today commended President Obama for signing into law the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, legislation that helps protect schoolchildren who experience anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction.
“This legislation is a significant milestone for food, venom and latex allergy safety in our nation’s schools,” says Tonya Winders, AANMA chief operating officer. “It will help save lives of children who experience an anaphylactic reaction for the first time or don’t have epinephrine auto-injectors readily available when anaphylaxis occurs.”
The measure provides a funding incentive to states that enact laws allowing school personnel to stock and administer emergency supplies of epinephrine auto-injectors. Epinephrine is the first line of treatment for anaphylaxis.
The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act was bipartisan legislation, first passing the U.S. House of Representatives on July 30, 2013, and then the U.S. Senate on Oct. 31, 2013, before heading to the President’s desk.
“AANMA also applauds the collective efforts of patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals, advocacy organizations and industry leaders who worked with members of Congress and their staff to keep this legislation moving forward on Capitol Hill,” Winders said.
Allergic reactions to foods are the most common cause of anaphylaxis in community settings, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Studies show that 16-18 percent of schoolchildren with food allergies have had a reaction from accidentally ingesting food allergens. In addition, 25 percent of anaphylaxis cases reported at schools happened in children with no prior history of food allergy.
AANMA has been instrumental in emphasizing the need for anaphylaxis emergency preparedness laws on federal and state levels. The USAnaphylaxis™ Map, an interactive web tool available at http://www.aanma.org/USAnaphylaxis, highlights the 28 states that have passed emergency stock epinephrine legislation and details how people can get involved in their state.