Illinois bill would mandate allergic reaction training in schools, daycares

Illinois capitol
State Rep. Jonathan Carroll says his daughter has severe allergies, but he got the idea for this measure from a family whose young son died after being given a grilled cheese sandwich at a daycare. (Photo courtesy: WJBC/File)

By Illinois Radio Network

SPRINGFIELD – A new proposal in Springfield would create a uniform standard to prepare schools and daycare facilities for handling severe allergic reactions.

House Bill 3983, sponsored by Northbrook Democratic state Rep. Jonathan Carroll, would require state officials to establish anaphylactic policies for school districts and daycare centers. They would include procedure and treatment plans, a training course on how to respond to a severe allergic reaction, strategies for reducing exposure to specific foods or other allergens known to cause anaphylactic reactions, and other measures.

“We do a lot of things around food allergies, but this just seems like an obvious thing that needs to be on the books,” Carroll said.

Carroll’s daughter has food allergies, he but got the idea for this legislation from a New York family whose son died from an allergic reaction after eating a grilled cheese sandwich at a daycare.

The measure would require state funding for implementation, but Carroll said: “If we save one kid’s life, it’s worth whatever the cost of that training is.”

Organizations such as Food Allergy Research and Education, or FARE, offer free training.

There are federal guidelines that address many of these issues, but those are voluntary for states and local school districts.

Canada and Australia have comprehensive child allergy policies.

Illinois Radio Network can be reached at News@WJBC.com. 

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