Advocacy Now - Instructions and Advice

Here's a link to information about the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act:

There are instructions on the page for emailing/sending a letter to representatives to show support. (See Below for a list of Email Addresses)

Here's Virginia's Senate version of the bill (SB656):

The House of Representatives has a similiar version (HB1156):

Our Virginia patrons of the bill on the education committee:

Other members of the education committee:

Here's a sample letter/email to show support:

From: amypaner@...
To: DelMKeam@...
Subject: HB 1156
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2012 08:28:10 -0500

Dear Delegate,

I am writing on behalf of the Richmond Food Allergy Support Group ("RFASG") in Richmond, Virginia to ask you to pass HB 1156, the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act. The RFASG is composed of parents of children with food allergies, whose lives have forever been changed by the receipt of their child's diagnosis.

Our group works closely with local parents and physicians to help navigate life after the diagnosis of a food allergy. All aspects of life are affected when living with food allergies. From taking a family trip, flying in an airplane, going to a friend's house for a simple play date, and most importantly, going to school. Most parents are nervous sending their child off to school for the first time. As a parent of a child with life threatening allergies a whole new layer of worry exists when sending your child off out of your care.

The recent and upsetting food allergy-related death of a child in a Chesterfield County, Virginia school brings the issue of having a child with food allergies way too close to home. No other parent should have to mourn the food allergy related death of their child.

Children with food allergies are at risk for anaphylaxis, a systemic allergic reaction that can kill within minutes due to asphyxiation or extremely low blood pressure. To prevent death, anaphylaxis must be treated promptly with an injection of epinephrine. HB 1156 would ensure that epinephrine is available in schools and that school personnel are trained to administer it in an emergency. Epinephrine is safe and easy to administer. Children are able to self-administer the medication, and any adult working in a school would be capable of learning how to administer epinephrine in a matter of minutes.

Nearly 6,000,000 million American children have food allergies and many are at risk of anaphylaxis. Schools need to be prepared to treat allergic reactions in the event a student's personal epinephrine auto-injector is not available or the student is having a reaction for the first time. Like Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), stock EpiPens can save lives. Stock EpiPens in schools can prevent the unnecessary death of a child from anaphylaxis.

The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act is not a controversial bill. It is endorsed by the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, the American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAI), and the National Association of School Nurses. On average it will cost a school just over $100 to have epinephrine available to prevent a fatality from anaphylaxis. This is a small price to pay to save the life of a child.

As a parent of a child with life threatening food allergies, and a support group leader, I urge you to pass HB 1156. Thank you for considering our views.

Amy Paner
Co-Leader Richmond Food Allergy Support Group


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