Chicago’s public schools will now stock epinephrine auto-injectors to treat severe allergic reactions. According toCBS,a new Illinois state law, signed by Governor Pat Quinn last August, allows school districts in Illinois to keep EpiPens in stock, and to administer epinephrine shots to any student who appears to be suffering a severe allergic reactions. The law enables school personnel to deliver the shot without worrying about liability or whether the student has a prescription for the medication.
Under the previous state law, students were allowed to carry their own EpiPen devices. While school staff members could administer the injection, the school could not provide the epinephrine. Though Chicago Public Schools has not yet begun to stock the EpiPens, starting with the next school year, there will be four to six EpiPens at each school. At about $100 per EpiPen pack, the total cost is estimated to be about $195,000.
One of the main reasons for the new law is that many kids experience their first allergic reaction at school, and would not have previously had reason to carry an EpiPen. When signing the law last year, Governor Pat Quinn’s office also noted that a growing number of school-aged children have been diagnosed with food allergies, making such measures particularly timely.