Up until now, children with allergies need a prescription to have an allergy pen in school, and although they are recommended to carry two with them at all times, 17% of fatal allergic reactions in school-aged children happen whilst at school.
In a change of law, from 1st October 2017, all primary and secondary schools in the UK will be able to order extra adrenaline auto-injectors, such as EpiPen, Jext or Emerade from pharmacies, and store them for use in emergencies.
Schools will not be permitted to purchase these, but will now be given the choice. This means for children with severe allergies, there will be a spare life-saving pen on hand should they need an extra dose, if their allocated device is not available, doesn’t work properly or is used incorrectly.
The government has said this move would prevent avoidable deaths in schools and give parents of children with allergies peace of mind.
Of course, the spare devices are only to be used on pupils at risk of anaphylaxis. The Department of Health has also issued new guidance for schools on how to use adrenaline auto-injectors. It also includes a breakdown of how to recognise an anaphylaxis shock, and how to administer the life saving treatment.
Does your child have a severe allergic reaction? How do you feel about this news? Let us know in the comments below.