New law to protect children with severe allergic reactions

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) will announce the passage of a new Federal law that would protect American children with severe allergic reactions. He will also call on the Ohio Statehouse to take further action in order to qualify for federal funding under the recently enacted law.

President Obama signed into law last month the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Brown that gives priority federal funding to states that ensure that all schools maintain a supply of epinephrine without a prescription for any student that may experience life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

Current Ohio law only allows schools to keep an EpiPen-which injects epinephrine-for students with a known allergy and a prescription written specifically for the individual student. Until the new Ohio law is signed, educators, administrators, and "Good Samaritans" are not allowed to use an EpiPen in the event of an emergency unless the student needing treatment has a prescription, even if that student is having a life-threatening allergic reaction. Allergic reactions, like anaphylactic shock, can occur within minutes of exposure to any allergen. Food allergies are a common cause of anaphylactic shock, and one in 13 children has food allergies-an average of two children in every classroom.

While Ohio House Bill 296 allows Ohio schools to maintain emergency epinephrine, further action is required for Ohio to be eligible for these federal funds. Brown will urge Ohio legislators to take additional actions to allow Ohio to qualify for priority federal funding.

Joining Brown at the Fairview German Language School today at 11 a.m. to raise awareness of this issue will be Dr. Marilyn Crumpton, Medical Director at the Division of School & Adolescent Health for the Cincinnati Health Department, and Dr. Sharon D'Souza, a parent of two children with severe nut allergies.

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.