Last week, nationally renowned physician, associate professor of pediatrics and director of the Program for Maternal and Child Health at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, Dr. Ruchi Gupta, wrote an opinion piece for CNN on why Congress should pass the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act. According to Dr. Gupta’s article, one in 13 children in the United States has a food allergy, and 40% of those have had a potentially life-threatening reaction such as difficulty breathing and throat constriction. That means that two kids in every school classroom–almost six million American children–have a food allergy that could potentially endanger their lives.
Here at EC3, we take allergies seriously. It’s true that severe food allergies in U.S. children have become more common in recent years, so we’ve taken the extra steps necessary to maintain an ALLERGY-AWARE FACILITY.
This means that we are a place where children with a range of food and environmental sensitivies can be safe and receive special protection to the greatest extent practical. The legislation that Dr. Gupta supports in her article would provide states with incentives to require secondary and elementary schools to have on-hand–and to allow school personnel to administer–epinephrine. You may have heard of an EpiPen, which is a common epinephrine auto-injector. If a person if having a severe allergic reaction, injecting epinephrine helps stop the reaction and prevents rapid death. EpiPens contain a single dose of epinephrine. We have several children with EpiPens at EC3 and staff members are trained how to properly use them in case of an emergency.
Our ALLERGY-AWARE rules apply throughout the building and with EC3 children when they are away from the building for an EC3 event. We want to make sure that no children are harmed from exposure to common foods, and that all of our kids are healthy, happy and as safe as possible while in our care. You can find the full policy in EC3’s Parent Handbook.