Do You Think Your Child Is Safe At School?

You might have heard the buzz about new legislation for stocking epinephrine in schools.  As the mother of two allergic children and one non-allergic child, I am very passionate about this legislation.  You might think it’s because I want to take every precaution to keep my allergic children safe at school.  Nope….not about them at all (for me, anyway).  I want it for my non-allergic child, and you should too.

According to the recent Yahoo News article, States Enact Laws To Stock Epinephrine at Schools, by Lucas L. Johnson II , one quarter of all anaphylactic reactions that occur at school happen to a child with no known allergies.  Just let that sink in for a minute.  Twenty five percent of life threatening reactions in school happen to a child like your non-allergic son or daughter.  I don’t like those odds one bit, considering my non-allergic daughter does not have an epinephrine prescription.  In fact, she is the only one of my children who I know will not have epinephrine accessible to her unless she is with her siblings.  It is for her that I want this life saving medication stocked in her school.

Olivia has been tested for the top 8 food allergens and her results indicated that she is not allergic to any of them.  She has no known food or other allergies up to this point.  I know though, that she could develop an allergy at any time.  I also know that things she has never been tested for could cause a life threatening reaction, such as ant bites, wasp stings, etc.  If Olivia suffers a reaction at school, she will not have access to epinephrine because we live in North Carolina.  North Carolina is neither one of the four states that requires stocking of epinephrine, nor is it one of the 23 others that ALLOWS stocking of epinephrine.

Basically, the children with known food allergies who bring their own prescribed epinephrine to school are the only ones who will receive life saving medication in our state.  Even if another child has epinephrine on site, it will not be used on your child during an unexpected reaction.  Your child would not be treated in order to prevent their death.  They would have to wait for emergency assistance to bring the medication, which could easily arrive too late.  If you don’t care about the stock epinephrine bills because your child doesn’t have a known allergy, you might want to rethink your position.

My daughter who has severe food allergies never leaves home without at least 2 epipens.  She will always have them if she needs them.  This legislation is not for her.  This legislation is for my non-allergic child, and it’s for your non-allergic child.  Do you really want to bank on the chance that help will arrive in time?

Check the map above or this list to see if your state is one of 27 that allows or requires stocking of epinephrine in schools.  If not, the next time you see an opportunity to support legislation for stocking epi, don’t ignore it.  It just might save the life of a child you love, including your own.

I would love to see your thoughts on the issue in the comments below.  Does anyone think epinephrine should NOT be stocked in schools?

10 thoughts on “Do You Think Your Child Is Safe At School?

  1. Wow. I had no idea about that statistic. Yes, schools should definitely stock this medication, both for kids with known allergies and those without. Agreed with the previous commenter that it’s absurd not to.

  2. I am surprised and saddened that this has not passed in NC. I live in TN; however, my firstborn grandchild lives in NC; she attends daycare there.I have asked her parents more than once is the daycare aware. They are; it is supposed to be a peanut free facility as far as I know but what if she has a reaction to another allergen that is not yet known. She is only 8 months old and as of yet we don’t know of any allergies. HOWEVER, her aunt (her dad’s sister) has severe peanut allergy as well as a dairy and soy allergy along with some tree nuts. Because of family history, we know that many times allergies run in families. I totally agree with you….it is definitely more about the one who could develop an allergy at any point in time. Every school and daycare in every state should be allowed and I prefer REQUIRED to stock epinephrine. Too many people take allergies for granted and think that a person just breaks out in a rash and has a little wheezing. Those of us who have raised children with life threatening allergies know the seriousness of this. My daughter is almost 26 years old; she has never outgrown any allergy…in fact more just keep cropping up. North Carolina needs to follow suit with these other states…for the sake of our children and grandchildren who at any point could have some type of allergic reaction. Don’t wait until it happens as it did in Virginian and a young life is lost. Parents this day in time send their children to school with enough worries without having to worry about this. It is time North Carolina gets with the program of the other states!!!!!!!!!! I don’t believe there is one legitimate reason that epinephrine should not be stocked in schools.

    • I’m with you. I think that knowing there are genetic links makes me a little more nervous about my non-allergic daughter. Her allergies could develop at any time and she also isn’t really exposed to allergens as regularly as those who live in a home with no food restrictions. I’m glad your granddaughter has so many people looking out for her who know the risks. Hopefully NC will catch up soon. I know there will be a big push to get the legislation through next session in NC. I’m keeping my fingers crossed! Thank you for commenting!

      • My 26 year old daughter was 4 years old when she was diagnosed. I had never heard of a peanut allergy. Had it not been for a newspaper article i read that very day about food allergies, I may have not put 2 and 2 together. Thankfully, she survived that attack from a half of a honey roasted peanut.It was after that she was tested and we began a life with food allergies. I guess peanut was the first word she learned to recognize. I wanted to comment that people need to realize (IN A BIG WAY) that allergies do develop later in life. My husband’s sister was in her 20’s and it was after our daughter was diagnosed, that his sister began to have reactions to peanuts, after having eaten them all of her life. Her daughter who is only 9 months younger than my daughter also developed peanut allergy but not to the severity. I was curious and asked an allergy doctor why this is occurring. He said he wished he knew….that it had actually happened to him. He said he kept peanuts i in his desk and would eat them when he was too busy for lunch. One day he had a severe reaction. I caution my grown son who has no known allergies that he too could develop them. It is serious business. This is not something to play around with. North Carolina needs to make this a law that allows school to stock epinephrine. It does not make sense not to! You are so right when you say this law is for the non-allergic child! That could change at any time.

  3. It should be stocked in every school in America. I just recently found out, though, that schools do NOT have to wait for state laws to pass. They can decide they want their schools to stock epi-pen anyway and make it a requirement. Union county already does this and we are advocating for CMS to follow suit. No reason to wait for laws that are slow in coming and we certainly do not need to wait for a tragedy.

    • Teri, I want to know more about this. I have searched all over and all I can find is that the law would allow or require, but nothing on states allowing it without the legislation. In that case, is it up to the individual school or the district as a whole? I would love to read anything you might have one this. Does there have to be some kind of protection in place so those using it will be free of liability? Can only nurses administer, or can others be trained on site as well? Thanks for posting! I am very interested in this new side of it. Maybe it will help some schools get the medication a little sooner.

  4. Oh wow! Thank goodness the outcome was not worse (although it sounds pretty horrific). Thank you so much fro sharing this story. This is exactly why it is so important that professionals in the schools are equipped and trained. I don’t think people realize that this can happen to anyone.

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