Support State Senator Linda Lopez and other lawmakers who are studying whether Arizona schools should be required to keep supplies of stock epinephrine auto-injectors for emergency use.
This legislation is not just for kids with known food allergies. It is intended to benefit all children, even those who may not have a known allergy, but show symptoms of an anaphylaxis allergic reaction. It's those children that do not have known allergies who are most concerning. The first time they have a reaction may be in school. Currently, schools have no way to help them.
FACT: 1 in 6 food allergic children will have a reaction while at school.
FACT: 15 million Americans have food allergy. That's 6 million children, which equates to about 2 children in every Arizona classroom.
FACT: The CDC reports that food allergy results in about 300,000 ambulatory care visits per year among children. That's 6,000 per year in Arizona.
FACT: Food allergies can be life-threatening. A seemingly mild reaction can turn deadly in just MINUTES. Epinephrine administered as early as possible, can save a life.
Anaphylaxis is a systemic allergic reaction that can kill within minutes due to asphyxiation or extremely low blood pressure. To prevent death, anaphylaxis must be treated promptly with an injection of epinephrine. This legislation would require schools to ensure that epinephrine is available in schools and that school personnel are trained to administer it in an emergency. Epinephrine is safe and easy to administer.
The need for this legislation was underscored earlier this year when a Virginia first-grader died when she suffered anaphylaxis at school that was not treated promptly with epinephrine. By the time medical personal arrived, she was already in cardiac arrest.
Nearly six million American children (close to 8% of all children) have allergies that place them at risk of anaphylaxis. Schools need to be prepared to treat allergic reactions in the event a student’s personal epinephrine auto-injector isn’t available or the student is having a reaction for the first time.
This is not a controversial legislation. It is supported by the Food Allergy Initiative, Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, and Arizona Food Allergy Alliance. It serves to protect all children.
We invite you to support the passage of this legislation.