Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Opinion

July 15, 2014

New laws benefit Hoosier families

The beginning of July has taken on new meaning since I first began serving as your state representative. Not only does it signify the start of a new month, it also represents when many new laws take effect in Indiana. As a continuous advocate for children and families, I wanted to share with you a few of those laws that I believe will positively impact some of our youngest Hoosiers.

One of my top priorities this year was to support legislation that protects Hoosier families in a variety of situations. One of the ways we worked to accomplish this was through Senate Enrolled Act 245. Allergic reactions range in severity from person to person. Unfortunately, if your child has never been exposed to a particular allergen, you may be unaware of the potential for allergic reaction.

As food allergies are more frequently diagnosed and packaged foods come in contact with possible allergy triggers, it is essential that schools are prepared to quickly care for anyone who may go in to anaphylactic shock. This new law attempts to reduce the threat of allergic reaction by allowing schools to train and equip their staffs on how to utilize auto-injectable epinephrine, which could potentially save the life of someone suffering from anaphylactic shock.

SEA 245 sets requirements for certain school or school district employees to properly fill, store and administer the epinephrine. Schools can obtain auto-injectable epinephrine through the “Epipens4Schools” program offered by Mylan Specialty, which allows qualified schools to obtain up to four of these life-saving devices at no cost. Making sure Hoosier students receive proper treatment in all school-related activities is essential to their well-being.

Another way to address student safety is by protecting high school athletes. High school athletic programs are a great way to teach students a variety of life skills outside of the classroom. However, safety is always a top priority. SEA 222 makes sure safety comes first on the football field by requiring high school football coaches to be trained in player safety and concussions once every two years.

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