June 20, 2014

Assembly Passes Legislation Enhancing Emergency Health Services in Schools

Speaker Sheldon Silver and Education Committee Chair Cathy Nolan announced the Assembly has passed legislation allowing students diagnosed with asthma or another respiratory disease that requires inhaler treatment, allergies and diabetes to use medical treatments in school (A.9334-B, Nolan). The measure has also passed the Senate.

"For many children, the fear of experiencing a medical emergency at school is something they must overcome every day," Speaker Silver said. "To add to that fear, there is often a very short window of time to treat and mitigate the effects of life-threatening occurrences such as asthma attacks, diabetic shock or allergic reactions. By ensuring that children with serious health concerns are safe and equipped at all times with essential, life-saving medication, this legislation has been carefully crafted to prepare school staff and provide critical peace of mind for parents and students."

"As a parent I know that there is nothing more terrifying than the thought of your child having a medical emergency and not being able to get to them right away, and for parents of children with asthma, severe allergies or any other serious health condition, that fear can be amplified significantly," Nolan said. "This legislation will help alleviate some of that worry by allowing students with potentially life-threatening conditions to have their treatments on them while at school, so that, in the event of an emergency, the student or a trained school staff member can act as quickly as possible. I thank the Senate for joining us in quickly passing this important legislation and I urge Governor Cuomo to sign this critical measure into law."

The bill would authorize students who have been diagnosed with an asthmatic or respiratory condition, allergies or diabetes to carry and use a prescribed inhaler, epinephrine auto injector or supplies related to treating diabetes during the school day and at any school function.

In order to do so, students must have a written statement from his or her physician diagnosing the condition and confirming that the student can properly self-administer the prescribed medication, along with written parental consent to carry and use the prescribed medical device or medication. Additionally, the bill requires the school to maintain extra medication or supplies for the student at the written request of a parent.