RI proposed amendment to nut allergy law

Posted on: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 2:42am
JennB's picture
Joined: 01/31/2007 - 09:00

I am very concerned about the proposed changes to the Nut Allergy Law in Rhode Island. (underlined will be added and strikethrough will be eliminated) What do you all think? Is this helping the nut allergic children? I am very worried about the elimination of the nut free classroom and nut free and only tables...HELP!

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
1 SECTION 1. Section 16-21-31 of the General Laws in Chapter 16-21 entitled "Health
2 and Safety of Pupils" is hereby amended to read as follows:
3 16-21-31. Notice of peanut/tree nut allergies -- Posting. -- (a) In any school subject to
4 the provisions of this chapter wherein a student with an allergy to peanuts/tree nuts and/or food
5 derived from peanut/tree nuts products is in attendance, a notice shall be posted within that school
6 building in a conspicuous place at every point of entry and within the cafeteria facility advising
7 that there are students at said school with allergies to peanuts/tree nuts. The notice shall not
8 identify the individual(s) with such allergy.
9 (b) In the event a student who is enrolled in a school is known to have an allergy to
10 peanuts/tree nuts and/or food derived from peanut/tree nut products, the school administration
11 shall prohibit the sale of peanuts/tree nuts, peanut butter and other peanut based products in the
12 school cafeteria.
13 (c) This section shall apply to any building, modular classroom, or similar structure used
14 by a school district for instruction and education of elementary or middle school students.
15 (d) In the event a school district knows that an elementary or middle school student has a
16 peanut or tree nut allergy, the district shall: develop a plan for making reasonable
17 accommodations to meet the needs of those students. Such plans shall include:
18 ([s]1) Designate a peanut/tree nut free table and peanut/tree nut table in the cafeteria; and
19 (2) Designate one classroom per grade to be peanut/tree nut free. [/s]
[u](1) The designation of one or more school personnel responsible for management of the
2 school's response to the provisions of this section;
3 (2) The creation and maintenance of an individual plan for each student with a
4 documented risk for anaphylaxis detailing emergency procedures in the event of an allergic
5 reaction;
6 (3) Strategies to reduce the risk of exposure to anaphylactic causative agents in the
7 classrooms and common school areas such as cafeterias;
8 (4) Provisions for making information on the contents of foods served to students in the
9 school available to parents;
10 (5) The dissemination of information on life-threatening food allergies to school staff,
11 parents and students;
12 (6) Food allergy management training of school personnel who regularly come into
13 contact with students with life-threatening food allergies;
14 (7) The authorization and training of school personnel to administer epinephrine when the
15 school nurse is not immediately available; and
16 (8) The timely accessibility of epinephrine to school personnel when the school nurse is
17 not immediately available.
18 (e) The parents or legal guardian of a child with a documented risk for anaphylaxis shall
19 provide to the school district in which there child is enrolled, prior to the start of each school year,
20 documentation from the student's physician or nurse that:
21 (1) supports a diagnosis of food allergy and anaphylaxis;
22 (2) identifies any food to which the student is allergic;
23 (3) describes any prior history of anaphylaxis;
24 (4) lists any medication prescribed for the student for the treatment of anaphylaxis;
25 (5) details emergency treatment procedures in the event of a reaction;
26 (6) lists the signs and symptoms of a reaction;
27 (7) assesses the student's readiness for self- administration of prescription medication;
28 and
29 (8) provides a list of substitute meals that may be offered by school food service
30 personnel.[/u]31 SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

Posted on: Fri, 01/25/2008 - 3:47am
momto4boys's picture
Joined: 06/06/2007 - 09:00

I do not like the tone of the added language. A child may not have a "documented" history of ana. reaction, but that does not mean that the next reaction will not be one. Symptoms can vary with every reaction. The new language makes it sound that if a child has not had an ana. reaction then they are not at risk and precautions are not needed. Also removing the peanut free tables and classroom is not a good idea. This is a RI law. Can an individual school districts have a stricter rule of law?

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