U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D) and Mark Kirk (R) of Illinois have recently introduced the “School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act” which could potentially safeguard the lives of millions of school children with known food allergies and many more that have not been diagnosed.
Roughly six million children in the U.S. are food-allergic with many of them at risk of developing anaphylaxis (a life threatening allergic reaction) when they ingest or simply come in contact with an allergen. The treatment of choice for anaphylaxis is epinephrine which must be administered immediately, often by auto-injector.
Studies have shown that as many as 25 percent of epinephrine injections administered at schools are given to children who have had no prior history of food allergy and as such do not have prescriptions for epinephrine. There are also situations where a child suffering an anaphylactic reaction requires a second dose of epinephrine but their school-held supply only provides for a single dose.
This legislation provides incentives to states to allow their schools to maintain a supply of epinephrine and administer it to any child that is having an anaphylactic reaction. It would make schools significantly safer by ensuring that children without a prescription or those with an insufficient dose on-hand would have access to this life saving drug.
The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act is endorsed by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN); the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; and the American Academy of Pediatrics. We at SnackSafely.com strongly support passage of this legislation and urge you to contact your congressional representatives and voice your support.
You can view the original press release here.
My daughter is not yet of school age but is ANA to peanuts, treenuts, egg and reactive to dairy and shellfish. At any moment life could severely change for her, and although I have not yet determined if she will go to public school I have an example that may sway your mind.
My now 17 year old brother had no food allergies at all growing up. Just last month he ate crab and got very very itchy in his mouth to an uncomfortable degree, yet my parents… have not booked him an allergist appointment, and I gaurantee they have not brought this to his High School’s attention. They, like many, to an extent, are of disbelief that allergies exist…
My point is, allergies unlike the past are of a different color now, as much as those who are set in their ways about disbelief, or needing to change the way we do things… kids are a walking timebomb for ANA right now. They may have had a mild reaction at home, and either been aware or unaware, but it would make me feel so much safer if I knew at least at school there was protection for those unaware of what may happen to them.
My daugther is ANA to peanuts, treenuts, eggs,fish and many more. I am worried for the kids in California schools, their parents dont know that they may have a anaphylactic shock at school.