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School and Allergies, Asthma

Honor Roll Welcomes 4 New States for School Allergy Policies

nurseNurse-to-student ratio is one of the policy indicators used to rank states according to their allergy accommodation practices in schools. Photo: Thinkstock

It’s still early in the school year, but four states have already been added to the 2015 State Honor Roll of Asthma and Allergy Policies for Schools by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Delaware, Illinois, New Mexico and North Carolina joined nine other states already on AAFA’s list, and one regaining the status, that are making sure students and faculty with asthma, food allergies and other allergic conditions stay safe while at school.

The organization goes on to note that the list has doubled in number since it began in 2008, helped along by the adoption of stock epinephrine laws in schools across many states.

AAFA compares all 50 states and the District of Columbia on 23 separate public policies, across core standards relating to asthma and allergies in schools. Areas examined include: laws allowing students to carry and administer their asthma and anaphylaxis medications; school building indoor air quality policies; smoking bans and cessation programs; and school nurse-to-student ratios. States that have enacted policy in 18 of the 23 areas identified by policy experts, in consultation with leaders in the fields of medicine, education and advocacy, make the honor roll.

This year’s AAFA Honor Roll report made special mention that lawmakers in a majority of states have enacted legislation allowing schools to have epinephrine auto-injectors available for severe allergy emergencies. That’s being hailed as a huge victory that is expected to save lives in the years to come.

“The State Honor Roll report makes it easy for parents, legislators and school personnel to proactively seek the changes they wish to see in their school systems,” says Meryl Bloomrosen, AAFA’s senior vice president of policy, advocacy and research.

Here’s the full list of states on the honor roll: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia. Click here for more information on the honor roll, its methodology, and ways to get involved in allergy legislation for schools.

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