Human body/X-ray/health (250886)
Credit: Max Pixel/Creative Commons

The Board of Health today approved new amendments to the Health Code, including a requirement that the nearly 3,000 city-regulated child care sites maintain two epinephrine auto-injectors on location. This new rule will require child care sites to have the auto-injectors available to staff; have at least one staff member on-site whenever children are present who is trained to recognize the symptoms of anaphylactic shock, administer an epinephrine auto-injector and initiate required follow-up procedures (calling 911, notifying a child’s parent or guardian and reporting the incident to the Health Department); and properly store, maintain and dispose of auto-injectors. Child care sites are also responsible for providing training to staff designated to use the epinephrine auto-injector. Kaléo, a Richmond, Va.-based pharmaceutical company, will donate 7,500 AUVI-Q (epinephrine injection, USP) auto-injectors to the Health Department to equip all affected child care sites for the first year, starting in September. Other approved amendments to the Health Code included additional training requirements for child care sites and the expansion of access to birth and death records. The next Board of Health meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 4.

“Building on its legacy of ensuring the safety of our youngest children, the Board of Health recognized the need for epinephrine auto-injectors at child care sites across the city,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction, which can be treated with an epinephrine auto-injector. I am thankful to Kaléo for its generous donation to child care sites in New York City.”

“There’s a vulnerability in living with life-threatening food allergies, particularly for children. My brother and I know this well, because we grew up with life-threatening food allergies, and our children have them too,” said Evan Edwards, vice president of Innovation, Development and Industrialization at Kaléo. Evan invented AUVI-Q with his identical twin brother, Eric. “Being able to donate AUVI-Q auto-injectors to New York City-regulated child care centers is so meaningful to us because we created AUVI-Q to ensure that anyone—even someone without medical training—could be talked through the administration of epinephrine in an allergic emergency.”

“Broadening access to essential medical emergency supplies is common sense when ensuring the health and safety of the youngest New Yorkers,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “Life-saving tools along with the necessary training of staff at these sites provide parents with the peace of mind they need when putting their children in the care of others. New York City is grateful to Kaléo for their donation, which will no doubt come to the aid of children across each borough in insurmountable ways.”

Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried, chair of the Assembly Health Committee, said, “The new amendments to the city’s Health Code requiring that epinephrine auto-injectors be available on-site at city-regulated child care sites are sound public health policy. The more that these tools are available, the more we protect public health. That’s why the State Legislature has worked to expand the availability of epinephrine auto-injectors by allowing their use not just by EMTs but also by authorized personnel in restaurants, school districts, sports and entertainment facilities, day care centers, children’s camps and youth sports leagues.”

Assemblymember Al Taylor said, “Many of our working families rely on providers to care for their children while earning a living. It is critical for these families to know that their child will have immediate access to medicine through the use of an epinephrine auto-injector if their child has an allergic reaction while out of their parents’ presence. The State of New York will save lives of our children with the implementation of this legislation.”

“It is encouraging that child care sites across New York City will now be required to be ready and able to help a child under their care who is suffering from anaphylactic shock due to an allergic reaction,” said State Sen. Gustavo Rivera. “I commend Board of Health and Health Commissioner Dr. Basset for working to increase children’s access to this life-saving drug.”

“These amendments to the Health Code will help save children’s lives,” said NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst). “Now those who work in child care sites will have the equipment and training they need to treat children in anaphylactic shock. This is welcome news, and I thank the Board of Health for their leadership on this effort.”

The Board of Health adopted child care training requirements that promote high quality environments for young children and align the Health Code with federal regulations under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act. The city will expand teacher trainings in cognitive development, such as literacy promotion, social emotional learning, family engagement, infection control, emergency response and mental health first aid.

Members of the Board also voted to expand access to birth and death certificates before they are public. Certain direct descendants and other family members, with proof of family relation, will be able to obtain the birth and death records of their deceased relatives before those records becoming public.