EpiPens in All Schools


by Jacinda Garabtio/ Photojournalist Darnell Hart

CHARLOTTE, N.C.- Schools in the Charlotte area and across the state may soon be required to have epiPens on hand.  They save lives when people are having allergic reactions.  The state House has passed the legislation, now its in a Senate committee.

Tiffany Randolph's daughter Anaiya is allergic to peanuts, soy and grass.  Last summer Anaiya had a bad allergic reaction, "I would start getting welts all over my body, I'll start itching really bad and my throat would close up."  Anaiya left school early Monday after her eye started swelling up. 

Her mother likes the idea of all schools being required to stock at least two fast acting epipens, "You never know when you might really need that and those few seconds that the epipen can help you before getting to the hospital I think is critical."

Dr. Sanjay Khiani of Family Allergy Asthma & Sinus Care says 8% of children have food allergies, "A severe anaphylaxis reaction or allergic reaction can occur not only with food allergies but also maybe a bee sting allergy."  He adds, "Up to 25% of children who do not have any known allergies will have their very first severe allergic reaction while in school."

Currently epiPens are only available to children with known allergies, who's parents have brought in prescriptions. 

Teacher Alexseil Parker knows how important the medication can be.  She suffered her first allergic reaction when she was in the fourth grade, "Having one in the nurses office would definitely help out me and any other students that have allergies because we're off in a rural area so its hard to get to hospitals."

The lawmakers who sponsored the bill say the manufacturer has offered to provide up to four free injectors to each school. Replacements would cost about 150 bucks a pair.



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