Friday, September 28, 2012
Does your school stock Epi Pens?
This is my Epi Pen, it goes EVERYWHERE with me, since I am allergic to seafood. Son #2 is allergic to tree nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts, etc.) NOT to be confused with peanuts-since a peanut isn't a nut, but a "legume."
What if your child suddenly has a reaction to food at school? For the first time? It was a surprise to us when Son #2 had a reaction to tree nuts. We were shocked! Would your school have an Epi Pen on hand to treat your child? Many schools do not.
Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) has an article in their latest magazine, Allergy & Asthma Today, that says less than half of schools stocked epinephrine for general use. Yikes.
In their article entitled, "ACE (Anaphylaxis Community Experts) Team Spotlight:Sharing the Know-How. Anaphylaxis can kill someone in less 30 minutes. To read more about the article, click here.
What is anaphylaxis? It's an allergic reaction that can be very mild or severe enough to kill you. To learn more from AANMA and American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (ACAAI) click here.
It might be interesting to find out if your school stocks an Epi Pen for emergency use. We are lucky in our county because ALL of our public schools (3 school districts) stock Epi Pens. Every school gets a new prescription for Epi Pens every year and the school nurses train their staff how to use them. You never know if you need to use one. Many people have the "it won't happen to me syndrome" but it did happen to us. Son #1 went into anaphylaxis shock, and I never want to see that again-as long as I live. I will never forget it.
It's also the law in every state (except New York) that students can carry their Epi Pens and asthma inhalers with them at all times IF the parents and doctor fill out a form. If you have a reaction, you have only a few minutes to treat it. You don't want the Epi Pen locked up in the front office. Check with your state health department to see what form you have to fill out. (Many of the schools don't know about the law, so it may not help to ask them.) We fill out a new form every year, it allows our kids to carry their asthma inhaler and Epi Pens with them.
Better safe than sorry.