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?