Board of Health approves new Health Code amendments

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.”