New law protects kids from severe allergic reactions at school

New law protects kids from severe allergic reactions at school
Published: Jan. 13, 2014 at 10:50 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2014 at 10:52 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - You never know when a child may need life saving medication for a severe allergic reaction at school. Some kids may not know they're deathly allergic until it's too late.

Because of this, there is a new law meant to help protect children, and also help parents breathe a sigh of relief.

"If I was having an allergic reaction and I had nothing with me, I would feel really terrible and get really sick," said 11-year-old Jaylen Johnson.

Johnson is talking about his severe peanut allergy. He was diagnosed at the age of 2 after eating peanut butter crackers.

"The next thing I know, he was swelling up," said Jaylen's mother, Angela Munden Johnson."Even his eyeballs were swelling and bubbling up in his eye sockets. I was terrified."

Since that day, Angela has been vigilant, making sure he stays away from peanuts and always carries epinephrine, life saving medication for a severe  allergic reaction.

Dr. Andrew Davidson sees patients like Jaylen on a daily basis. He says three to five percent of kids have food allergies and one percent are severely allergic to insect stings making EpiPens vital.

"If someone has an antifilactic reaction, the most effective treatment if given prompt is an injection of epinephrine," Dr. Davidson said.

A new law hopes to make it easier for families with severe allergies, as well as other kids whose allergy has never been detected.

The school access to emergency epinephrine act was signed into law only a few months ago. The law is meant to help kids receive epinephrine or an EpiPen injections without a prescription if they ever have a severe reaction at school.

Angela says the law is a huge step in the right direction and is an extra layer of protection for parents like herself.

The Charleston County School District, along with DD2 and DD4 have EpiPens available at all of their schools for students and staff that may need it.

The Berkley County School District said as of right now they have EpiPens available for students that already have a prescription, but are drafting a policy with hopes to include all kids and staff.

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