Task Force Considers Mandatory Food Allergy Training for School Drivers

If your son or daughter has food allergies are they safe when they are on the school bus? A special Connecticut task force appointed by the state legislature is concluding that the answer is no, reported News 8.

It is estimated that about eight percent of school children have food allergies. Ten years ago, Connecticut passed a law requiring school districts to have certain rules about foods that are served, sanitation and rules about administering medication, most especially for the life saving Epipens, that are required to be in all schools.

Mike Corjulo is a school nurse supervisor and is on the task force.

“Some districts have really embraced these concepts and have implemented really safe and inclusive practices and others have not,” said Corjulo.

They have found that there is one area where kids with food allergies are especially vulnerable; on the school bus, either going or coming home from school or going on a field trip or sporting event because kids often bring food on the school bus and could experience anaphylaxis, which is the the technical word for acute allergic reaction.

Allergy Specialist Dr. James Rosen is also on the task force.

“They need to be treated on a school bus and that would require the school bus driver to be knowledgeable about anaphylaxis and also to treat quickly,” said Rosen.

The task force is leaning toward recommending that Connecticut join the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island in requiring this training for school bus drivers statewide.

The task force found that the town of Branford is already doing this so they believe it is doable, but they know it won’t be easy and there are bound to be complaints that this would be another unfunded mandate on the cities and towns.

Last modified onFriday, 09 December 2016 12:01