State Senator L. Scott Frantz Joins Governor Rell As She Signs Bill Expanding Students’ Access to Emergency Medical Treatment

July 20, 2009

Greenwich, CT – State Senator L. Scott Frantz (R-Greenwich) joined today with Governor M. Jodi Rell at the Hamilton Avenue School in Greenwich as she signed into law a bill which requires the State Department of Education to adopt regulations regarding the administration of medication by school personnel and student self-medication. Public Act 09-155: An Act Concerning the Use of Asthmatic Inhalers and Epinephrine Auto-Injectors While at School now allows a child diagnosed with asthma or allergies to have an inhaler or epinephrine auto-injector in their possession at school if a parent or guardian provides authorization from a health care provider who has prescribed a specific medication. The legislation also allows the student to self-administer the medication in an emergency.

“When a child suffers from acute asthmatic conditions or a severe allergic reaction to foods like peanuts, every second counts in getting them the life-saving medication they need,” said Senator Frantz. “Prior to the passage of this legislation a child would have to wait for a nurse or approved staff member to administer the emergency treatment creating a potentially fatal delay. Now by expanding the availability of these life-saving treatments we can take a big step forward in ensuring critical care for these students.”

Senator Frantz, who co-sponsored the bill, became particularly connected with the issue after his office was contacted by constituents in the 36th District whose child suffered from severe peanut allergies. This new legislation not only addresses their concerns by allowing a student to self-administer medication, but it also requires school boards to develop, implement and make public plans to care for students with life-threatening food allergies. These plans must also be updated and reviewed each year.

“Sending a child with conditions like life-threatening food allergies or asthma off to school can be a scary reality for many families,” said Senator Frantz. “But it doesn’t have to be. I am confident this very practical legislation will provide an extra level of safety and security for students and families affected by these conditions. I applaud Governor Rell for signing this common-sense bill into law and thank her for her commitment to the health and safety of Connecticut’s children.”

PA 09-155 goes into effect August 15, 2009.