(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – A new law went into effect in the new year aimed at protecting millions of school children from severe food allergies. Since 1997, food allergies in children have shot up 50 percent, and it’s estimated that 1 in 4 experience their first allergic reaction to food while at school.
The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act will offer schools incentives to keep epinephrine injectors on hand in case of an emergency. Epinephrine is a life-saving medicine that can reverse the effects of a severe allergic reaction to food, but only if it’s injected within the first few minutes.
“There is no reason why we shouldn’t have something ready and waiting in our schools that could save a child’s life,” said Sarah Denny, MD, of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. As a physician, Denny has treated dozens of children for serious food allergies, and as a mother nearly lost her own son to them.
“Ninety percent of all schools in America now have at least one child who has a food allergy, and the numbers keep going up,” said David Stukus, MD. “This measure is badly needed.”
Click the player below to see the story from Nationwide Children's Hospital.