The Ohio Association of School Nurses is in the process of writing state legislation that would give school personnel the go ahead to act cases of severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) and possibly save kids' lives.
The legislation would allow trained school employees to administer EpiPens, auto-injectors of epinephrine to any child presenting with labored breathing, facial tongue or throat swelling; classic symptoms of anaphylaxis. The legsaltion is important because it is illegal in Ohio for school employees to administer epinephrine to students who don't have a prescription on file. Instead they must call 911 even if they have an EpiPen in the office. This is incredibly dangerous because anaphylaxis is deadly and waiting to long for the adrenaline delivered by an EpiPen will likely cause the child suffering from an anaphylactic reaction to lapse into a coma and die.
Kate King, president of OASN, said in a news release. "Our public spaces and buildings are ready with defibrillators and basic first aid equipment. Providing epinephrine treatments at our schools is rational, proactive and potentially life-saving."
The bill isn't sponsored yet by any of our legislators but the OASN is "shopping it around" and believes that they will find a sponsor soon. The bill will be modeled after a recent bill in Virginia that was drafted and quickly passed after the death of a 7 yr. old Amarria Johnson who died waiting for an ambulance because she didn't have an EpiPen prescription on file at school.
My 18 month old toddler has food allergies, one of those is peanuts. I am so glad to see this legislation being drafted although I am surprised that it doesn't already exist. Food allergies are growing at record speeds and scientists have yet to figure out why. But they are real and they can be very dangerous. Being the mother of a child with severe allergies is absolutely nerve wrecking. Schools are chock full of the poison that makes her very sick; Milk, eggs, peanut butter. I've considered homeschooling her for fear that she will be handed a treat from her friends lunch box that will make her violently ill.
I am glad I have a few years before she begins school. Hopefully this bill will pass and if I decide to send her to public school, she will be safer for it.
Does your child or a child you know have food allergies? What is your biggest challenge?
© iStockphoto.com/[Karen Sarraga]
My kid doesnt have food allergies but i think nurses and principles should be trained to give the pen.....My kid is diabetic and has a glucagon shot for if she passes out because blood sugar is low. The nurse is trained on using it if needed. It would not be cool if her glucagon was ilegal and they had just let her lay there passed out til emt got there so i feel other medical conditions should be handled there too. If nurses arent allowed to handle medical conditions at school then whats the point of having her work there?? Cuzz i know she doesnt have to check for lice anymore since hippa law doesn't let her report it. School nurses should be trained and retrained every year for any condition that any student attending the school has.
October 5, 2012 at 1:08 PMMy oldest has a food allergy to blueberries
by mommyfrey83October 5, 2012 at 1:39 PM
My kids don't have any known allergies. But I think this is a great bill. It's silly to not be able to help a child who is having an allergic reaction.
by momtoBrennaOctober 5, 2012 at 2:22 PMMy dd doesn't have food allergies but she does have an insect sting allergy. She would have an epipen at the school if we weren't homeschooling.
by johnny4everOctober 5, 2012 at 3:34 PM
No he doesnt
October 5, 2012 at 11:30 PMMy oldest was allergic to soy and peanuts, but thankfully he outgrew both already. I think.schools should be able to give epipens.
by mem82October 6, 2012 at 9:41 AM
That's a slightly odd allergy to have. My hubby had issues with strawberries (also odd to me) as a kid, but basically out grew it.
My oldest has a food allergy to blueberries
by karone04October 6, 2012 at 9:59 AM
My mom and I talked about this a week or 2 ago because it was on the evening news. We think that schools should have epi pens even for kids that don't have a epi pen. The reason for that is because we know that even if a kid has been exposed to things many times with no reaction they could have one. Sorry if that doesn't make any sense I am really tired and stil need to get up to the store for a birthday present for the neighbour.
October 6, 2012 at 1:02 PM
He has had issues with peanut butter but it is hit or miss if he will have a reaction it seems.