Hampton applauds legislature's passage of bill that will improve food allergy policies

May 9, 2018

Simsbury’s State Representative John Hampton applauded the legislature’s passage of a bill that will make schools safer for students with potentially life-threatening allergies.

House Bill 5452, “An Act Concerning the Recommendations of the Task Force on Life-Threatening Food Allergies in Schools,” will require the state Department of Education to revise guidelines for the management of students with life-threatening food allergies and glycogen storage disease and make these guidelines available to each local and regional board of education.

The bill now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

The legislation is the product of recommendations of the Task Force to Study Life-Threatening Food Allergies in Schools, and the work of statewide advocates.

“This legislation will help make our students safer while in school and on the school bus. As lawmakers and advocates, it is incumbent upon us to pass legislation that will foster a safe learning environment for our children so they can continue to grow. I am proud to have been the impetus behind the original legislation that called for the creation of a task force based on the concerns of a Simsbury parent whose daughter had food allergies,” said Hampton, a co-sponsor of the bill.

According to the Task Force to Study Life-Threatening Food Allergies in Schools, an estimated eight percent of school children have food allergies, which equates to as many as two kids in every classroom in the state.

The bill requires school transportation providers to train school bus drivers on life threatening food allergies – training can be provided online – and provides Good Samaritan protections to bus drivers who provide an emergency EpiPen injection. The legislation also allows students to self-carry their EpiPens with permission of a parent and doctor.

More than a decade ago, Connecticut passed a law requiring school districts to have certain rules about foods that are served, sanitation and rules about administering medication, especially for EpiPens, that are required to be in all schools.