Asthma Action Plans & Asthma Episode Emergency Response Protocol – HB 6333

Effective immediately, a new law requires schools districts, charter schools, and nonpublic schools annually to request an asthma action plan from the parents or guardians of a student with asthma. If provided, the asthma action plan must be kept on file in the office of the school nurse or, in the absence of a school nurse, the school administrator. Copies of the asthma action plan may be distributed to appropriate school staff who interact with the student on a regular basis, and, if applicable, may be attached to the student’s Section 504 plan or IEP.

An asthma action plan is defined in the bill as a written plan developed with a student’s medical provider to help control the student’s asthma. The stated goal of an asthma action plan is to reduce or prevent flare-ups and emergency department visits through day-to-day management and to serve as a student-specific document to be referenced in the event of an asthma episode.

House Bill 6333 (P.A. 99-0843), which went into effect upon the Governor signing the bill on August 19, 2016, makes several changes to Section 22-30 of the Illinois School Code addressing the self-administration and self-carry of asthma mediation and epinephrine auto-injectors. 105 ILCS 5/22-30. The full text of the bill is available here.

HB 6333 also requires that each school district, charter school, and nonpublic school adopt an asthma episode emergency response protocol before January 1, 2017. ISBE is required to develop a model protocol by September 1, 2016, and the protocol adopted by each school district, charter school, and nonpublic school must include all of the components in ISBE’s model protocol. The bill specifies that the protocol is a procedure to provide assistance to a student experiencing symptoms of wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, or breathing difficulty.

Additionally, every two years, school personnel who work with students shall complete an in-person or online training program on the management of asthma, the prevention of asthma symptoms, and emergency response in the school setting. ISBE must make available resource materials for educating school personnel about asthma and emergency response in the school setting.

Asthma Medication & Epinephrine Auto-Injectors – HB 4462 

Another change to Section 22-30 of the Illinois School Code will extend students’ opportunity for the self-administration and self-carry of asthma medication and epinephrine auto-injectors to the time they are being transported to and from school on a school bus.

House Bill 4462, which goes into effect on January 1, 2017, also adds that school nurses or trained personnel may administer an undesignated epinephrine auto-injector to any person they in good faith believe to be having an anaphylactic reaction while being transported on a school bus. School bus drivers can be “trained personnel” under the statute for the purposes of administering epinephrine auto-injectors to students. The full text of the bill is available here.

Additionally, HB 4462 adds that if a supply of undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors is on the school bus or other transportation vehicle, then the school must report that information to ISBE upon adoption or change of the policy of the school or independent bus contractor. The report must include the number of undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors in supply.

HB 4462 also adds that in schools that maintain an undesignated supply of epinephrine auto-injectors, the secure location must be one that is accessible before, during, and after school. For undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors, the bill adds that whichever entity initiating the process of obtaining them and providing training to personnel carrying and administering them is to pay the costs of the undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors. The bill also includes that the amount of epinephrine auto-injectors that any school or student may carry or maintain cannot be limited.

In addition, HB 4462 changes the training requirements in Section 22-30(h) for personnel trained to administer an undesignated epinephrine auto-injector. The training curriculum to recognize and respond to anaphylaxis, including the administration of an undesignated epinephrine auto-injector, may be conducted online or in person. HB 4462 also removed the requirement that personnel trained to administer an undesignated epinephrine auto-injector also must submit proof of CPR and AED certification; however, ISBE’s regulations still include this requirement.

Concussion Reporting – HB 4365 

Beginning this school year, the Illinois High School Association and any other association governing high school interscholastic athletics must require all member schools that have certified athletic trainers to complete a monthly report on student-athletes who have sustained a concussion during a school-sponsored activity overseen by the athletic trainer or when the athletic director is made aware of a concussion sustained by a student during a school-sponsored event. All reporting must be anonymous as it relates to student names.

Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, IHSA and any other high school interscholastic athletic associations must file a report of this data to the General Assembly. The association has the authority to take action against a member school if the member school fails to complete the required reporting. With respect to reporting, an association and any member school shall have immunity from civil or criminal liability, except for willful or wanton misconduct.

The full text of House Bill 4365 (P.A. 99-0831, eff. Aug. 19, 2016) is available here.

For questions about the administration of asthma medication and epinephrine auto-injectors, contact Michelle Todd or Jennifer Mueller. For questions about the concussion laws, contact Stephanie Jones or Jennifer Mueller.