State Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, today welcomed testimony from Amy Jeffers Radomski, a local mother from Capac, in support of legislation to help protect Michigan children in the case of life threatening allergic reactions at school.
Allergic reactions and anaphylaxis, a severe reaction that can be fatal within minutes through swelling that shuts off airways or through a drop in blood pressure, can be particularly damaging to children. Kids who are exposed to a potential food allergy need immediate help in the critical minutes following an exposure.
House Bills 4352 and 4353, sponsored by State Rep. Lisa Lyons, R-Alto, would place two epinephrine injectors in each Michigan school and train staff to use them. Epinephrine injectors are the most effective emergency treatment for anaphylaxis. The injectors are simple devices used to immediately get epinephrine into the allergy victim's system, slowing down the allergic reaction to give emergency personnel time to treat and save the student's life.
"By equipping our schools with this simple life saving resource, we can help keep kids safe," said Pavlov, who chairs the Senate Education Committee.
Food allergies are on the rise and have become a serious issue for schools across the nation. More than 15 million Americans-including 6 million children-suffer from food allergies. A person who is experiencing anaphylaxis needs to receive an epinephrine injection immediately, as rapid decline and death can occur within 15 to 60 minutes or less according to the National Institutes of Health.
"As a mom, it is terrifying to think what can happen if my daughter eats something she is not supposed to," said Radomski, whose daughter has nut allergies. "Many of our state's schools are in rural areas, and waiting for medical help to arrive and respond with epinephrine is not a realistic option. Seconds matter and will mean the difference between life and death."
The bill is also supported by the Michigan Education Association (MEA), Michigan Association of School Nurses (MASN), Michigan State Medical Society and Michigan Anaphylaxis Advocacy and Education Network, among others.
PHOTO DESCRIPTION: Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Twp., hears testimony from Amy Radomski (mother), and Ashley Radomski (daughter), residents of Capac, Michigan, before the Senate Education Committee in support of HB's 4352, 4353. Ashley is severely allergic to eggs, peanuts and tree nuts. She carries an epi-pen twin pack, antihistamine and a rescue inhaler with her at all times in case of an accidental exposure or ingestion.