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New Illinois law establishes safety measures for students with life-threatening allergies

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food allergies

(WSIL) --  Governor JB Pritzker Friday signed legislation that establishes the Childhood Anaphylactic Policy, creating added safety measures for students with life-threatening allergies.

House Bill 102 provides guidance to school districts and daycares regarding anaphylactic reactions.

“I’m glad that the Childhood Anaphylactic Policy will not only provide comfort to parents of children with severe allergies, but it will better equip daycares and K-12 schools with the expertise to help these kids,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “As a parent myself, I’m intent upon making Illinois the best state in the nation to raise a young family. Thanks to this bill, we’re locking in another piece of the puzzle today.”

House Bill 102 requires the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to establish anaphylaxis policies and procedures for school districts and daycare settings.

According to the Allergy & Asthma Network, in the United States one in 12 children have food allergies, yet 25 percent of reactions in school go without a previous diagnosis. HB 102 addresses the need for more clarity in school settings on severe allergic reaction protocols by tightening anaphylaxis training across school levels.

IDPH will update the polices every three years in consultation with specialists. The information will be displayed online on the IDPH website, as well as provided to each school district, charter school and day care center within six months after effective date of becoming law.

“Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can include a wide range of symptoms and can start quickly causing a life-threatening emergency,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “Allergic reactions can be unpredictable as to when they occur, the type of symptoms, and the severity of symptoms. Because anaphylaxis can occur at any age, including children, it is important for teachers and staff in schools and day cares to know the signs of an allergic reaction and be prepared to act. IDPH will convene allergy experts and pediatricians to develop a policy to help schools and day cares protect children from severe allergic reactions.”    

HB 102 is effective July 1, 2021.