U.S. Senator Kay Hagan today announced that she is cosponsoring the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act to ensure students with food allergies have access to life-saving medication. The bill encourages states across the country to improve school access to epinephrine auto-injectors, like the EpiPen, to be used if school children have life threatening allergic reactions.
"Nearly 6 million American children have food allergies," said Hagan. "And more than 15 percent of school aged children with food allergies have had a reaction in school. For these students, exposure to the wrong food at lunch can quickly become fatal. This legislation will help ensure that schools are prepared to assist in the safe and expedient administration of epinephrine, which can mean the difference between life and death for students experiencing an allergic reaction."
A bipartisan group of 35 Senators, including Hagan, have cosponsored this legislation first introduced by Senator Dick Durbin (IL).
Hagan is also a cosponsor of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act, which requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide local agencies guidelines on managing the risks of food allergies and anaphylaxis in schools and early childhood education programs.
About the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act
The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act rewards states that require elementary schools and secondary schools to maintain a supply of epinephrine and permit trained personnel to administer epinephrine at schools.
Specifically, the bill rewards states that:
· Allow authorized school personnel to administer epinephrine to any student believed to be having an anaphylactic reaction;
· Require schools to maintain a supply of epinephrine on school premises; and
· Protect school personnel who administer epinephrine to students appearing to be having an anaphylactic reaction.
These states would be granted preference for asthma-related grants administered by the HHS