A new law takes effect today, catching other states up with Virginia when it comes to keeping kids with allergies safe in school.
The act, signed into law by President Barack Obama in November 2013, is similar to one that took effect in the Commonwealth last year. The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act requires elementary and secondary schools to maintain a supply of epinephrine, common known through an epi-pen or the newer Auvi-Q injectors. The law also requires them to have a plan in place and to have someone trained and permitted to administer it when a child is having a potentially life threatening allergic reaction.
"You want to come in with that epinephrine very early on," said Dr. Dane McBride of the Asthma & Allergy Center Roanoke. "That's the real key to saving lives from severe allergic or anaphylactic reactions."
Virginia's guidelines took effect at the beginning of the 2012 school year. Governor Bob McDonnell signed legislation requiring local school boards to adopt and implement policies for the possession and administration of epinephrine in Virginia's public schools in April 2012.