Food Allergy Families in Illinois, in August of 2009 the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health prepared a document that they call the "Guidelines for Manageing Life-Threatening Food Allergies in Illinois Schools." They did this after the Illinois Congress passed a law called Public Act 96-0349 on August 13, 2009.
The deadline for your school to enact their own special allergy safety policy has passed. Does your Illinois' school have an individualized food allergy policy written for your child yet?
The law now requires all school boards in Illinois' schools to have a written policy for all of their students with life threatening food allergies enrolled in their schools.
The law also says that Illinois schools now have to provide education and training for any school staff members that have contact with any children diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies. This includes principals, teachers, office staff, student counselors, advisors, and nurses. Staff must understand how to manage the life-threatening food allergies. This would include proper training in how to use an auto injector such as an epi-pen and what procedure is necessary to follow when a reaction occurs.
Schools are also required to write up an indivdualized health care and food allergy action plan for each student enrolled in their school suffering from food life-threatening food allergies.
Your school's plan should include protocols to prevent your child's exposure to their allergens. In many cases your school may have an older policy already in place that meets or exceeds this mandate. According to P.A. 96-0349 as long as a previously enacted food allergy policy meets or exceeds this new law it can remain in effect. Old policies that do not must be rewritten and enacted by January 1, 2011.
Every two years, an in-service training program for school personnel who work with students must be conducted by persons with expertise in anaphylactic reactions and management. The initial training is to be conducted by August 13, 2011 (within two years of the effective date of P.A. 96-0349). Concerned parents can visit the Illinois State Board of Education's Food Allergy Guidelines page for sample documents and specific information on this law.