Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation spearheaded by 11-year-old Pasadena resident Zacky Muñoz that will keep children from experiencing lethal allergic reactions while at school.
By News Desk
The Muñoz Student Allergy Framework for Emergencies (SAFE) Act – AB 1651 (Sanchez) – will impact nearly half a million students with food allergies in California. The law ensures that the location and use of on-campus epinephrine auto-injectors (EAIs) – often referred to by the branded EpiPen name – are known and accessible to more school staff.
“Thank you, Governor Newsom for helping to make our schools safer and sending a powerful message to California students that we matter,” said Zacky “This is an important law for kids with food allergies. I am so proud to be part of making a difference for kids like me.”
Muñoz has life-threatening food allergies and suffered two anaphylactic reactions in first grade while at school.
Schools will be required to retain a physical copy of instructions near the site of epinephrine. The bill also allows those with an Activity Supervisor Clearance Certificate to be designated by schools to receive training to administer epinephrine during emergencies.
Currently, California requires school districts to “provide emergency epinephrine auto-injectors to school nurses or trained personnel” to ensure that schools have the tools they need to intervene in anaphylaxis. However, many schools do not have full time nurses or other personnel authorized to administer EAIs during school hours and after school programming.
The Muñoz Student Allergy Framework for Emergencies Act will add thousands of people to the pool of those trained and available in case of an anaphylactic reaction at school.
According to the Food Allergy Research Education (FARE) organization, as many as 33 million Americans suffer from life threatening allergies. Of this population, 1 in 13 are children who rely on parents, caregivers, teachers, and school administrators to keep them safe while at school.
Eleven-year-old Zacky is not new to championing legislation to help his food allergy community. He helped author AB 2640, known as “The Zacky Bill,” that was signed into law by Governor Newsom in 2022. That law ensures that a state resource guide with the most available and comprehensive information regarding food allergy resources, current laws, and methods to identify ingredients be available on the California Department Education website. The site launched at in 2023. More information about Zacky’s legislative efforts can be found at munozsafeact.com.
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