Title 16

Chapter 21
Health and Safety of Pupils

R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-21-22

§ 16-21-22. Allergic emergencies — Anaphylaxis — Use of epinephrine — Immunity for those administering.

(a) The department of elementary and secondary education and the department of health shall incorporate into their policies, rules, and regulations pertaining to school health programs a procedure for addressing incidents of anaphylaxis (exaggerated allergic reaction) in order to provide for the health and safety of children who have been medically identified as being prone to anaphylaxis or who show evidence of anaphylaxis. The policies, rules, and regulations shall include a procedure whereby a parent or legal guardian of any child may expressly authorize the school department and school bus drivers and monitors to administer the epinephrine on his or her child in case of an emergency and ensures that the epinephrine is kept in a conspicuous place, readily available, and that their proper use is made known to school personnel. School bus drivers and monitors shall receive training in the administration of epinephrine. To treat a case of anaphylaxis, trained school bus drivers and/or monitors shall administer the epinephrine auto-injector to an identified student.

(b) The policies, rules, and regulations shall also include a procedure to allow children to carry and use prescription inhalers, and auto-injectable epinephrine, while in school, at a school-sanctioned function or event, or in transit to and from school or school-sanctioned function or event by the school bus service provider; when prescribed by a licensed individual with prescriptive privileges. Children who need to carry prescription inhalers and/or auto-injectable epinephrine shall provide the school and the school bus service provider with medical documentation that the inhaler and/or auto-injectable epinephrine has been legitimately prescribed and that the child needs to carry it on his or her person due to a medical condition, but no child shall be disciplined solely for failure to provide this documentation in advance.

(c) Parents shall provide a doctor’s letter or prescription notifying the school and the school bus service provider of their child’s allergy and the need to administer epinephrine in an allergic emergency.

(d) No school teacher, school administrator, or school healthcare personnel, school bus driver, school bus monitor, or any other school personnel shall be liable for civil damages which may result from acts or omissions in use of the epinephrine which may constitute ordinary negligence; nor shall the school personnel mentioned in this subsection be liable for civil damages which may result from acts or omissions in the use of prescription inhalers by children which may constitute ordinary negligence. This immunity does not apply to acts or omissions constituting gross negligence or willful or wanton conduct. For the purposes of determining immunity from liability under subsection (d) only, the term “other school personnel” shall include any private entity providing school bus services and individual school bus drivers and monitors employed or otherwise engaged by such school bus service entities.

(e) School physicians may execute standing orders and prescriptions for school nurses to use epinephrine when there are symptoms of anaphylaxis. The school department may permit each school within their jurisdiction to maintain epinephrine in cartridge injections for the purpose of emergency first aid to students who experience allergic reactions. The department’s policies, rules, and regulations shall also include the conditions and procedures for the storage and administration of epinephrine for the purpose of emergency first aid to students who experience allergic reactions.

(f) The student’s parent or guardian is responsible for supplying and replacing, when necessary, all prescription medication that is authorized pursuant to this section.

History of Section.
P.L. 1995, ch. 358, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 43, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 324, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 293, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 146, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 342, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 254, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 264, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 108, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 146, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 126, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 140, § 1.