A piece of legislation which will expand in-school access to life-saving anaphylaxis medication has passed out of the House Education Committee. Introduced by Rep. Dan Bronoske, D-Lakewood, House Bill 1608 passed out of committee with unanimous support.
“School should be a safe place to learn,” said Bronoske. “We already do a good job of eliminating potential allergen exposure. Still, kids can be exposed, and we must be prepared. This is a matter of life or death for our learners.”
According to Foodallergy.org, 41 percent of people who report a food allergy in Washington are school-aged. Anaphylaxis can also come from allergies to things like latex or insect stings, but school-age children represent a large percentage of people who may require emergency epinephrine treatment. The National Institute of Health reports that as much as 20 percent of pediatric anaphylactic incidents occur at school.
House Bill 1608 expands access to anaphylaxis medication in schools in three ways. First, it requires the Secretary of Health to issue a standing order for epinephrine and epinephrine autoinjectors in schools,. Secondly, it permits a school to maintain a supply of epinephrine in addition to the autoinjector supply they already maintain. Finally, it also permits the use of both epinephrine and epinephrine autoinjectors.
The bill now heads to the House floor for consideration.