LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed laws requiring every public school in Michigan to have epinephrine injectors to treat allergic reactions.
Schools will have to have two epinephrine devices starting next academic year and ensure at least two staff members are trained to use them.
Many children with known severe allergies already bring EpiPens to school. But supporters of the legislation say a quarter of anaphylactic shock incidents in schools occur among students unaware that they have an allergy.
Without a dose of epinephrine to stop swelling in the throat or tongue caused by reaction to foods such as peanuts or from bee stings, unsuspecting kids can die.
According to Dr. Matthew Greenhawt, a University of Michigan pediatric allergist and director of research for the school’s Food Allergy Center, one out of every 13 children under age 18 suffer from food allergies, or two in an average-size classroom.
The legislation was spearheaded in part by the No Nuts Moms Group. Lisa Rutter, a Rochester woman whose son is allergic to nuts, founded the organization two years ago and has seen roughly 50 chapters sprout up across the U.S. and in some other countries.
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