After more than a decade of tireless advocacy on the part of many advocates in New York, lead by Stacey Saiontz, the 200,000 food allergic children in New York State can now have confidence that their schools will now be required to have information on hand, that their teachers can access to help keep them safe in an anaphylactic emergency. The required information includes when and how to administer epinephrine to keep their students safe.
Saiontz, along with her son, Jared worked with many New York State legislators and committee chairs to get this legislation passed. Special thanks go to sponsors Sen. Cordell Cleare and Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal for getting S209A to Governor Hochul for her signature.
“Sadly, it is necessary because children have been severely harmed and even died in school and daycare settings because those ensured to care for them were not aware nor trained in how to respond to those experiencing anaphylactic shock,” Cleare told Healio.
As stated in this press release from Healio.com, Senator Cleare’s motivation for sponsoring Teacher’s Training was to extend the impact of Elijah’s Law on required epinephrine training and stocking in the day care setting into the public school setting. In 2017, 3-year-old Elijah Silvera was given a grilled cheese sandwich at school even though his family said they had told the educators there that he was allergic to dairy products. He then died of anaphylactic shock.
This story is one of many that speak to the tenacity needed to put in place the pieces required to make our community safer for those managing life threatening allergies.
With Teacher Training now in place, we now shift to the implementation phase which includes monitoring how schools implement this new requirement by holding administration accountable. Now that a law is in place, we can imagine how to better improve the law to ensure the safety of all students.
Here is the full article in Helio.
Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal's press release.
Text of Bill S209A
Story behind Elijah's Law