Fox Family Edge: School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act

Published 11/14 2013 09:01AM

Updated 11/14 2013 10:06AM

In your Fox Family Edge report this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing its first guidelines to schools about how to protect kids with food allergies. Wednesday, President Obama has taken things a step further, signing what some say is a life-saving law. It's an issue closer to his heart than many may have realized, since his daughter Malia has a peanut allergy.
It's called the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, and aims to increase the availability of the drug in schools. Epinephrine can help prevent adverse reactions and death in children with severe food allergies. The law comes after two students died after ingesting peanuts and suffering an anaphylactic reaction while at school. A recent CDC survey found a rise in the number of children with food allergies since the late 1990s, thus creating a bigger demand for the drug considered the first-line of treatment in such cases.
"Making sure that EpiPens are available in case of emergency in schools is something that every parent can understand," the president said.
The law does not require schools to stock EpiPens, rather it only provides financial incentives for individual states. States with such laws on the books will get preference for receiving federal children's asthma-treatment grants.
Fox News Medical "A" Team's Dr. Manny Alvarez suggests the live saving law is long overdue. "These medicines should be at the beck and call of emergency care workers whether it's a nurse or a teacher and you have only minutes because if you get an anaphylactic reaction you literally stop breathing within seconds."

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