New Law Will Help School Children with Severe Allergies

A new law signed by Gov. Corbett on Oct. 31 will provide for access to emergency epinephrine in schools.

Prompt administration of epinephrine may be crucial to the immediate safety and long-term health of students suffering a severe allergic reaction. If anaphylaxis arises suddenly during the school day, quick administration of an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen) may be required, and every second counts. But what if the school nurse isn’t readily available?

House Bill 803, supported by the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED), will allow schools to maintain a supply of EpiPens in a safe, secure location, and allow students who are having an allergic reaction to self-administer the injection. It also will allow schools to train employees to administer the injection.

People who are responsible for the use and storage of EpiPens will be required to complete a training program through the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The new law went into effect Dec. 30, 2014.