A child with an allergy, asthma, even diabetes, has an “episodic” condition which, as a result of the amendments to ADA, normally qualifies the public school child for the protections of 504 and the private school child / day care youngster, for the protections of ADA.
Food Allergy Research and Education
At the Food Allergy Research & Education Association (FARE) annual conference, I did a 5 hour presentation about allergies and anaphylaxis. The focus was on 504 and ADA and very little on IDEA.
Conference attendees received a CD-ROM that included almost 60 files. The CD included pdf copies of Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd. Ed., Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Ed., our video about writing Due Process and Complaint letters.
Many of the files on the CD-ROM were:
- complaints filed in federal court
- US Dept of Justice complaints and settlement letters
- manuals for use by schools regarding life-threatening allergies
- comprehensive guidelines for schools recently issued by the Center for Disease Control in collaboration with FARE
We have uploaded the files provided to the FARE attendees to our new Allergies / Anaphylaxis page.
The link to the complete listing of the files is at:
Access to Epinephrine Auto-injectors
With regard to allergies and anaphylactic shock (anaphylaxis), it is important that school staff have immediate access to an epinephrine auto-injector, such as the Epi-Pen or Auvi-Q.
If a child is exposed to a substance, often there are only minutes to spare. Sometimes, without a shot of epinephrine, death can occur within fifteen minutes of exposure.
Of the deaths by anaphylaxis, 40% have occurred in children who never before were allergic to the substance. Thus anaphylaxis is unexpected and death occurs.
Anaphylaxis and Severe Allergies Awareness
Football great Adrian Peterson loves gumbo. During training camp he was eating gumbo and suddenly came down with the symptoms of anaphylaxis, his throat was closing, was unable to breath and death was imminent.
Fortunately one of the team’s trainers immediately recognized the symptoms, administered an Epi-Pen, got him to the hospital, and he survived. He never before had an allergy to shellfish. He was at the conference and told his story.
To read one nurse’s story about this and her illegal use of an Epi-Pen, go to:
Nationwide among school nurses, she has become the leader in this field. I heard her speak at FARE and she was awesome.
State Legislation for Stocking Auto-Injectors in Schools
Since so many deaths have occurred without advance knowledge that the individual had an unknown allergy, some states have passed legislation about keeping stock epinephrine auto-injectors (Epi-Pen / Auvi-Q) at various locations in a school building without the need for a prescription for an individual child.
Linked from our new allergies / anaphylaxis page are manuals published by school systems and NSBA.
We hope you will find the resources useful.