Sen. Ellman

SPRINGFIELD – A measure to provide classroom instruction on food and environmental allergies and allergic reactions sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman passed the Senate Education Committee Tuesday.

“Most people can relate to suffering from seasonal allergies, but we also have to consider folks that suffer from food allergies,” said Ellman (D-Naperville). “Severe allergic reactions are life-threatening situations that can happen anywhere to both students and teachers.”

According to the CDC, one in thirteen children experience food and environmental allergies, which equates to nearly two students per classroom. Strict avoidance of the allergen is necessary, as there is no known cure for food allergies. Avoidance is not always possible, so the CDC urges education centers to develop proactive plans for responding to unprompted allergy emergencies.

House Bill 3932 would require middle school and high school students enrolled in the Comprehensive Health Education Program to study the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction, the steps to take to prevent exposure to allergens and the safe administration of emergency epinephrine.

“People aren’t always born with food allergies,” said Ellman. “Educating young people about the signs and symptoms of food allergies, as well as what to do in case of an allergy emergency, will help students understand the significance of allergies and the ways they can carry out life-saving measures.”

House Bill 3932 passed the Senate Education Committee and will now head to the Senate floor for further consideration.