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June 30, 2006

NJ needed a law for this?

According to an article on NorthJersey.com this week, a bill was approved unanimously this week by their state senate that allows children with food and other allergies to inject themselves with epinepherine.

The bill amends an existing law on the books that allows students with severe asthma to inject themselves with epinephrine. Apparently it was up to each district as to whether a student with a child food allergy was allowed to carry epinepherine. In some districts only a nurse could inject the life saving medicine.

Hmm. That's interesting. What did they do, exactly, before the bill passed? Well, read this excerpt...

In November 1996, German Lopez, 18, a senior at John F. Kennedy High School in Paterson, went into anaphylactic shock and died after eating a candy bar containing peanuts. Family members and school officials said Lopez knew about his allergy but was not aware that the candy had nuts in it. School officials said they did not know Lopez was allergic to peanuts. His mother told a school nurse she kept his medication at home.

He kept it at home? Ugh. Such a sad story and it seems clear that all parties involved failed that 18 year old - maybe even himself. Now, this was 10 years ago and we've all learned so much over that time. Also, the school didn't even know about his allergy. How much can they help if they aren't aware?

One of the representatives says,

"This is important, because there are students in classrooms across the state who have allergies who may be denied life-saving epinephrine if this bill is not passed," Kean said in a telephone interview. "Basically, my view is that in many instances, students who are deathly allergic to certain foods are placed in jeopardy every time they attend a school where epinephrine is not readily available."

Really? There are schools that are not treating this topic with the urgency and care it deserves? It seems that these days, there is WAY too much information to allow that to happen. Tap the resources out there like FAAN and our blog. Develop a personalized emergency action plan at home and make sure you are completely comfortable with the schools plan (we are all much more likely to have an emergency at school).

This is serious stuff. We have to be careful not to get lax in our diligence to keep our kids safe... or young adults as the case may be.

Posted by David at June 30, 2006 3:18 PM