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Moms Push For Legislation Allowing Bus Drivers To Administer Epinephrine

Moms and their kids meet with Assemblyman David Buchwald to dicuss legislation to allow bus drivers to administer epinephrine if a child is having an allergic reaction.
Moms and their kids meet with Assemblyman David Buchwald to dicuss legislation to allow bus drivers to administer epinephrine if a child is having an allergic reaction. Photo Credit: Contributed

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- All Stacey Saiontz wants is her son Jared, who suffers from severe allergies, to be able to ride the bus to and from school.

Saiontz and other Chappaqua moms are pushing for legislation that would allow bus drivers and anyone who works in a school district to administer epinephrine if a child is having an allergic reaction and an ambulance cannot get there in time.

Jared is allergic to dairy, wheat, sesame, sorghum, and buckwheat.

"It could be the difference between life and death," Saiontz said. "I drive my son to school because I can't put him on the bus.I would never forgive myself if something happened."

The legislation has the bipartisan support of Assemblyman David Buchwald and Senator Terrence Murphy. Similar legislation was recently passed in Massachusetts. The bill is making its way through committees with the hope of being passed and signed into law before the legislative session ends on June 21.

"This is a great bill," Buchwald said. "There's no doubt it will save some lives."

Buchwald said it is important people who work in schools are able to help children in need, especially when there could be only seconds to spare.

Saiontz and other moms, along with their children, went up to Albany to advocate for the bill.

"It was amazing," Saiontz said. "The kids were able to meet with Assemblyman Buchwald and Senator Murphy and tell them about their allergies. It was a very inspiring process."

The law would provide training for bus drivers and other employees to be able to administer epinephrine. Teachers are already trained and are allowed to administer epinephrine to students.

Saiontz said she tries to make life as normal as possible for her family. They bring food to restaurants and to other people's houses, and they make sure people thoroughly wash their hands. Saiontz always has an EpiPen on hand, just in case.

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