Friday, February 15, 2008
I'm having one of those weeks where I want to voice my opinion, my two cents so to speak, on a couple issues.
The first is the anaphylaxis bill that just unanimously passed the State Senate.
The bill calls for the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop anaphylactic policy guidelines for Washington school districts to follow, as well as policies to deal with medical emergencies resulting from it.
The news coverage I've provided so far has prompted several responses from parents of children dealing with potentially life threatening food allergies.
The bill needs to be adopted into law. The current law only requires that students with potentially life threatening conditions have a medical plan in place in order to enter the school system. It can be found in RCW 28a.210.320.
The different provisions in Senate Bill 6556 are beneficial for children, including a training course for school personnel regarding prevention and responding to an anaphylactic emergency, as well as a communication plan for the school to follow to gather and disseminate information regarding the child's health condition.
Also included in the bill are strategies for the reduction of risk of exposure to anaphylactic causing agents.
Now, hopefully, I haven't lost you and you're still reading this column, because this is important.
I mentioned previously that there's been several responses from our readers.
One family that contacted me had a horrific experience just this past Monday. Their 7-year-old son was asked to pick up a sandwich crust from underneath his desk. The boy, who has a severe peanut allergy, complied. He picked it up and threw it in the garbage. A short time later, he rubbed his eye.
As time went on, his eye began to swell shut. He was sent to the office, where they applied an ice pack. He broke out in hives. The parents were called.
The crust was from a peanut butter sandwich.
It wasn't until the parents arrived that the child was given Benadryl. His lips had started to swell. Thankfully, the Benadryl worked and there wasn't a full blown anaphylactic episode.
It's important to note that this did not occur in the Sunnyside School District.
But it is disturbing that it occurred at all.
This bill is a potential life saver and families should have the peace of mind of knowing that no matter where they live in the state of Washington, their children will be safe when in school.