New York State has become the latest in the nation to add an epinephrine autoinjector law to allow schools to both stock injectors and train staff (outside of nurses) in their use. The bill was signed into law on October 31.
Like many similar laws across the country, the New York provision allows non-medical staff at schools to become trained in the use of epinephrine injectors. It also allows the school to stock pens and allows their use on children who do not have a prescription when staff believes teh child is having a severe allergic reaction.
Many children have their first serious reactions to food or insect bites while they are in school, experts say. Laws like the one just passed in New York are being touted as one solution to the growing problem of children with allergies who attend public schools. Their numbers are now estimated to be one in every thirteen in any given classroom.
Although many allergic reactions are non-life-threatening, many can be. In recent years, several children have died after having a food allergy reaction at school.