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05/08/2021 04:10 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20210&cosponId=33904
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 5, 2021 12:28 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Managing and Responding to Food Allergies in Child Care Centers
 
For many children, eating even a trace amount of an allergenic food can induce a life-threatening reaction, including severe vomiting, swelling of the tongue and throat, loss of consciousness, and even death in a relatively short period of time. Today, one in 13 children has food allergies, and roughly 40 percent of these children having already experienced a severe allergic reaction. Many of these reactions happen at school, where many of the most common allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish) are often staples of the average school child’s diet.

The accessibility of food throughout the school setting creates the risk for accidental exposures in early care programs that have varying levels of anaphylaxis preparedness. With this in mind, I am proposing legislation to require the Department of Human Services, in conjunction with the Department of Health, to develop guidelines for managing a child with a life-threatening food allergy. These guidelines would ensure all personnel working in child care centers are aware of the best practices for responding to life threatening allergic reactions, have access to a child’s self-injectable epinephrine, and include reasonable accommodations to limit children’s exposure to food allergens.

Allergic reactions can be life threatening and have far-reaching effects on children and their families, as well as on the early care programs they attend. I ask that you support this legislation to ensure child care centers are safe for children with food allergies.



Introduced as HB1187