|Common food allergies in children (Photo credit: Adams999)|
There is good cause for action.
At a recent food allergy roundtable in New York City, Mary Jane Marchisotto, Executive Director of the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI) shared the most recent statistics on food allergies, saying that, “Every classroom now has two students with food allergies.” A July 2011 study funded by FAI and published in Pediatrics, found that 15 million Americans and one in every thirteen children now suffer from food allergies – a significant increase from prior data.
While the Virginia legislation is critical, Maria Acebal, Chief Executive Officer of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, wants to raise the discussion up a level. She is lobbying on Capitol Hill for federal legislation that would incent the states to enact laws similar to the one just enacted in Virginia. Acebal just isn’t happy with letting the states delay any longer saying, “Do we have to wait for a child to die in every state before the state does it themselves?”
Referred to as a “stock” epinephrine law, Virginia’s new legislation will require schools to keep epinephrine that is not targeted for a specific child available for use in children who do not have their own prescription epinephrine injectors at the school. While food allergy leaders are driving the charge, stock epinephrine laws will help protect students with all types of allergies.
With the signing of this bill, Virginia joins California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and New York, which already have stock epinephrine laws on the books.
Eight down. Forty-two states to go.