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Carolyn FortinoSep 13, 2017, 8:51 pmSep 15, 2017, 7:04 am

Bipartisan bill allows school bus drivers to administer EpiPens to kids suffering allergic reaction

Allergic reactions can lead to life-threatening emergencies if not addressed immediately

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In school districts all across Westchester County, there are hundreds of children suffering from severe and sometimes life-threatening food allergies.

Senator Terrence Murphy and Assemblyman David Buchwald sponsored a bi-partisan bill that would arm school bus drivers across the state with the authority to administer an epi-pen to a child in case of an emergency.

"It was illegal for them to administer a simple device like this that takes about 16 seconds to inject into the body to save someone's life," Sen. Murphy said.

Local school bus drivers contracted through the districts will be undergoing training to use the epi-pen if a child is having a severe reaction in their care.

"When someone has an allergic reaction their throats can close within seconds sometimes. So to me, it was like playing Russian roulette,” said Stacey Saiontz who has a son in the fourth grade.” I mean odds are that something wouldn't happen on the school bus, but if something ever did happen I don't think I would be able to live with myself."

For parents, every second is crucial, and for Jared, the new bill means getting the chance to ride the bus for the first time.

"I'm very excited because I can ride the bus now and I can feel safe on it," Jared said.

It's important to note that this bill does not require all bus drivers to go through the training to administer epi-pens to their students but the law does give them the legal right to use an epi-pen if they choose to.

The program is expected to be rolled out in school district across New York State by January.

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