Some Important News Regarding In-School Medical Treatment

I want to let my friends and constituents know that Governor Cuomo recently signed into law two important bills that will help students with asthma or another respiratory diseases, allergies and diabetes to use appropriate medical treatment in school or at school functions. Furthermore, schools will be able to provide and keep on-site epinephrine auto-injectors for use during emergencies.

The first bill, which takes effect July 1 this year, allows students diagnosed with asthma or another respiratory disease to self-administer an inhaler, students diagnosed with an allergy to carry and use a prescribed “epi pen,” and students diagnosed with diabetes to carry glucagon and carry and use insulin through appropriate equipment (as well as carry and use equipment to check blood glucose and ketone levels), in each case during the school day on school property and at any school function. Students with diabetes can also carry any food necessary to treat hypoglycemia. This law will also allow licensed nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and physicians employed by the schools to administer prescribed insulin and epinephrine within their authorized scope of practice.

The second bill, which takes effect at the end of this month, will allow schools or any person employed by the schools to administer epi pens in the event of an emergency. Schools will also be authorized to provide and maintain on-site epi pens in adequate supply to ensure access for use during emergencies to any student or staff having anaphylactic symptoms whether or not he or she has a previous history of severe allergic reaction.

The dangers of anaphylaxis are real. I am pleased that we have taken steps to better protect kids with life-threatening allergies by improving access to epinephrine. If you are a parent of a child who is diagnosed with asthma or other respiratory diseases, allergies or diabetes or have friends whose children are diagnosed, it is important to know that these options will soon be available.

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