Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act Becomes Law
This legislation was added into a Food Safety Bill approved by the U.S. Congress during the lame duck session on December 21, 2010. It was signed into law on January 4, 2011 by President Obama. FAAMA, which was written largely by FAAN (the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network), was introduced in 2005 to coincide with FAAN’s inaugural Kids’ Congress on Capitol Hill. This legislation was never acted upon all those years.
This bill was supported by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), whose daughter has a food allergy, and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who has a grandchild with a food allergy.
What does this mean for those with food allergies?
The federal government will create voluntary, national guidance materials for managing food allergies in our nation’s public schools. These guidelines should make it easier for schools, day care centers and related entities to create and implement policies that will protect students with food allergies.This law will not supersede state laws. The FAAMA guidelines are to be used as a complement to existing state guidelines or laws
I found the following details on the No Nuttin' website as follows:
"Here is the official summary of the ACT which was introduced in February 2009:Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop and make available to local educational agencies, schools, early childhood education programs, and other interested entities voluntary guidelines to develop plans for individuals to manage the risk of food allergy and anaphylaxis in schools and early childhood education programs. Directs that such guidelines address:
(1) parental obligation to provide the documentation of their child’s allergies;
(2) the creation of an individual food allergy management plan for each such child;
(3) communication between schools or programs and emergency medical services;
(4) reduction of exposure to anaphylactic causative agents;
(5) food allergy management training; and
(6) administration of epinephrine.
Allows the Secretary to award matching grants to assist local educational agencies in implementing such food allergy and anaphylaxis management guidelines."http://www.nonuttin.com/blog/archives/604
I am sure many of us with children who have serious food allergies have struggled with schools and camps to try and ensure a safe "food allergy friendly" environment.
It is a constant struggle and hopefully this new law will truly help the situation many of our children face at school.
The level of precautions that schools currently take to protect children with food allergies vary wildly. Direct parental advocacy and involvement at their local school is often vital for creating food allergy policies and procedures coupled with anaphylaxis plans.
It is critical that schools and day care centers have careful procedures in place, train staff and strictly follow those procedures.
Many children have died from exposure to food allergens in schools. In December a 13 year old Chicago girl with a peanut allergy died after eating Chinese food at a school party. I will write a post about these tragic deaths in the future.
Read about this new law by following the links below.