Potentially life threatening food allergies have grown in prevalence, presenting an increasing challenge for schools around the state. We recently alerted you to the enactment of the Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act of 2007. See “Allergy and Anaphylaxis Guidelines To Be Issued Soon” (SRZ Alert, Feb. 13, 2008). Pursuant to that law, the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, in consultation with the Commissioner of the New York State Education Department, published a resource guide entitled “Caring for Students with Life-Threatening Allergies,” which provides guidelines to assist schools in the development and implementation of policies regarding anaphylaxis. While the law does not specifically apply to independent schools, such schools may find the materials useful in working with parents to develop foodallergy action plans.

The materials provide guidelines for schools on developing written care plans for students with life-threatening allergies and provide guidance for administrators, nurses, teachers, food service personnel, after-school employees, and volunteers on the handling of students with allergies. The materials also contain sample individualized healthcare plan forms and letters. The guide reinforces our usual advice that a school work collaboratively with parents to develop policies and care plans to address severe allergies and anaphylaxis.

To view the new state resource guide, which is advisory for independent schools, click here.