Amendment of School Based Programs for Children Ages 3-5 (Article 43 of the NYC Health Code)

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Effective Date: 
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Download Copy of Adopted Rule (.pdf): 
 
 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Statutory Authority

The Board’s authority to codify these proposed amendments is found in Sections, 556, 558, and 1043 of the New York City Charter (the “Charter”). Sections 558(b) and (c) of the Charter empower the Board to amend the Health Code and to include all matters to which the Department’s authority extends. Section 556 of the Charter provides the Department with jurisdiction to protect and promote the health of all persons in the City of New York. Section 1043 grants the Department rule-making authority.

Background

Article 43 of the New York City Health Code governs school-based programs for children aged three through five. The Board is amending Article 43 to add requirements for maintaining epinephrine auto-injectors on site and for certain teacher training. The basis for the changes is set forth below.

 

Emergency Medical Care and Epinephrine Auto-Injectors

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that four to six percent of children nationally have a food allergy; such food allergies include ones that are life-threatening. Rapid administration of an epinephrine auto-injector following a life-threatening allergen exposure is critical to preventing significant negative outcomes, including death. Having epinephrine auto-injectors on the premises at all times can save the lives of children with life-threatening food allergies who do not bring an epinephrine auto-injector with them to the school-based program, and of children who have life-threatening food allergies identified for the first time while the child is there.

In 2016, the New York State Public Health Law was amended[1] to allow certain entities, including child care providers, to obtain non-patient specific epinephrine auto-injectors and to administer them in an emergency. This new State law creates the opportunity for such programs to have this critical, lifesaving program enrolling a child whose enrollment is paid for by federal child care subsidies.

The rule language is modified to include training regarding prevention of and response to emergencies related to food or allergic reaction, and prevention and control of infectious diseases (including immunization).

 

Other requirements

            In order to come into alignment with federal requirements and state policy regarding the vulnerabilities and special needs of children who are homeless or in foster care and thus require accommodations for compliance with certain rules, the proposed language has been modified to provide for a reasonable grace period for certain provisions pertaining to providing medical records.

Tooth Brushing

The provisions regarding tooth brushing that were included in the original proposal are not included in these amendments. The Department has determined that further consideration is warranted.

The Department’s authority to promulgate these proposed amendments is found in Sections 556, 558, and 1043 medication available. Accordingly, the amendments clarify requirements for emergency medical care and add a mandate that school-based programs maintain on site at least two unexpired epinephrine auto-injectors in each dosage appropriate for children who may be in the program, stored so they are easily accessible to staff and inaccessible to children. Whenever children are present, programs are required to have at least one staff person on site trained to recognize signs and symptoms of anaphylactic shock and to administer epinephrine as appropriate. The amendments also require programs to monitor the auto-injectors’ expiration dates and call 911 after any administration, as required by the medication directions; to obtain parental consent at the time the child is enrolled in the program; and to have all staff trained in preventing and responding to emergencies related to food allergies. 

The proposed language is modified to require that epinephrine auto-injectors have retractable needles and to clarify storage requirements.

Training requirements

The amendments expand teacher training requirements to enhance child safety and assure alignment with the health and safety training requirements in the federal Child Care Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG) Act of 2014. Sections 558(b) and (c) of the Charter empower the Board to amend the Health Code and to include all matters to which the Department’s authority extends. Section 556 of the Charter provides the Department with jurisdiction to protect and promote the health of all persons in the City of New York. Section 1043 grants the Department rule-making authority.

                                                                 




[1][1] NYS Public Health §3000-C. Epinephrine Auto-injector devices. Effective March 28, 2017.