New law aimed at protecting students with allergies takes effect

A new law has gone into effect that could help protect the lives of children with severe allergies.

State Senator Marty Golden announced that, as of Tuesday, December 19, bus drivers are allowed to administer an epinephrine auto-injector, like an EpiPen, in emergency circumstances. This new law will help children with severe allergies who may be exposed to or accidentally consume an allergen while traveling to or from school.

“I am proud to have supported this legislation that today is a new New York State law that will improve our children’s safety. If students find themselves in a life-threatening situation on a school bus, the driver now has the authority to administer epinephrine,” said Golden, whose district includes portions of schools districts 20 and 21, both of which are notably overcrowded. “The availability of an EpiPen, and someone who is trained in administering it, is an important life-saving advancement.”

Serious allergies can lead to reaction called anaphylaxis, which – if left untreated – can lead to death. An epinephrine injection works to help immediately reverse the effects of anaphylaxis. While prior law allows those employed by school districts and other educational institutions to administer the live-saving injection, those who work for agencies contracted out by a school district, such as transportation services, were not authorized.

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