Federal law now urges schools to get EpiPens

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Reporter - Elizabeth Fields

Since 1997, the number of children with food allergies has gone up 50-percent, and a growing number of children are having their first allergic reaction at school .

Parents have been pushing for what are commonly known as epipens to be in every school and today a federal law doing just that goes into effect. 

This law encourages states to adopt laws to require epipens in schools. You may not know that Kentucky already has such a law. 

But it encourages schools, it doesn't require them.

What this federal law does, is offer financial incentives for schools who do which may mean more schools will actually get them. 

Schools have become more aware of an increase of food allergies. 
Doctors say hopefully the new national law will mean more schools will be prepared to deal with them.
 
Food allergies have increased by about 50% in the last decade alone.  Currently, approximately 2 to 6% of all children have some form of food allergy, and if you think about that, that's really about 1-2 children in every classroom in America on average.
 
Kay Rule knows personally how quickly a reaction can happen, ""Luckily my daughters reaction wasn't very severe, but allergy attacks can be life threatening. And there may not be time for an ambulance to arrive to the school."
 
When two-year-old Kyah reacted to a peanut butter flavored ice cream treat, her mom took her to the emergency room. 
 
She now carries an epipen everywhere and supports schools having access to them. 
 
Until now, it was up to parents to take epinephrine injectors to their child's school.  
In an emergency, the school nurse could use them - but only on a child who had brought in their own.
 
Now schools can have more than one dose on hand, and more than one person trained to give it to someone in need. 
 
Illinois, Missouri, and Tennessee all have state laws encouraging schools to supply epipens. 

 

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