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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: January 5, 2021 12:35 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Requiring Notice and Designating Safe Spaces to Protect Children with Food Allergies in Schools
Food allergies are a growing concern in the United States, attributing to an estimated 317,000 ambulatory care visits per year among children under 18 years of age. Every allergic reaction has the possibility of developing into a life-threatening circumstance and – in some instances - can be fatal even with proper treatment. There is no cure for these potentially fatal allergies, and for reasons that are not yet clear, the number of children with food allergies is increasing across the United States.

Approximately one in five children with food allergies will experience an anaphylactic reaction while at school. Although an individual can have a life-threatening allergic reaction to any food, peanut and tree nuts typically cause the most severe allergic reactions. A school’s role in managing a child’s food allergy is therefore significant, and the only path to protecting children in our schools is through safe, allergen-free environments. For these reasons, I will be introducing legislation requiring schools to post a notice that a student within a school building has a peanut or tree nut allergy. Additionally, my legislation provides a safe place for students with a peanut or tree nut allergy by designating a cafeteria table to be peanut or tree nut-free and one classroom per grade level to be peanut or tree nut-free. 

Caring for children at risk for anaphylaxis in the school setting requires a collaborative partnership with the students, parents, healthcare providers, and school staff. I ask that you join me in supporting students across Pennsylvania with food allergies by ensuring they have a healthy and safe class and school environment.

Introduced as HB750