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House Passes Bill Promoting Schools to Carry Anti-Allergy Drugs

Update Date: Jul 31, 2013 02:06 PM EDT
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People who suffer from severe allergies have to watch everything they eat or come into contact with. In some cases, simply touching the food but not swallowing it is enough to lead to anaphylactic shock. Due to the fact that allergies can kill almost instantly, having medications nearby is extremely important. Since around a quarter of anaphylactic cases occur in schools in children who do are unaware of their allergies, having anti-allergy drugs within school grounds could mean life or death. The U.S. House of Representative has now passed a new bill that promotes schools to carry anti-allergy drugs.

"A systemic allergic reaction can kill within minutes," congressman, Phil Roe said.

The bill, which was sponsored by Republican representative, Phil Roe, who is also a doctor and Democratic representative, Steny Hoyer, will encourage states to create new policies that will add epinephrine, which treats anaphylactic shock to schools. Ideally, schools would need to train or employ people who can administer epinephrine correctly to those who need it. Furthermore, the bill will help modify certain regulations regarding the administration of medication at school and provide legal protection for the school employees who are given the permission to use epinephrine on students.

"This will save the lives of children who do not know they have an allergy which is life-threatening," Hoyer said.

Currently in some states, students are allowed to bring their allergy medications with them to school if they have a medical documentation. However, the chances that some children might suffer from a severe allergic reaction and do not have medications are too high. According to the congressmen, one in every 13 children under the age of 18, or six million children, suffers from some kind of allergy. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the most common allergy is peanuts. After nuts, it is milk followed by shellfish.

The bill will now await the decision of the Senate. 

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