Schools required to stock EpiPens for emergencies

Last year when a 7-year-old girl died at school after eating a peanut, her mom wanted to change the law.

She did and it's now changing the way teachers here in Maryland respond if a child is having a severe allergic reaction.  

7 year old Amarria Johnson died at school after eating a peanut during recess. Her death prompted a new state law requiring schools to stock EpiPens in case of an emergency.

Susan McHale, the school nurse at Longfellow Elementary in Howard County says there's four EpiPens stocked in the nurse's office.

She's trained all her teachers and the principal how to use it.

Having the EpiPens on hand could mean the difference between life and death.

Dr. Alvin Sanico with GBMC says "An EpiPen is something that can be very useful in a patient who has had a history of anaphylactic reaction. Anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction that is life threatening systemic reaction to either food or even medication or insect stings."

Benjamin Barkdoll, a 4 th grader at Longfellow Elementary wears a medical bracelet to let people know just how serious his allergies are.

His mom Delea says he's "highly allergic to peanuts, he's off the charts for peanuts and slightly allergic to tree nuts."

Delea says the new law is especially important for kids who might not know they have an allergy.

"I think it's wonderful because if someone doesn't know and they do try something new which we're always encouraging our children new food if they don't know and they have a reaction, we can do something about it."

For students with known allergies, parents are still required to provide to their own EpiPens.

On Thursday, ABC2 will take you inside a school to show you how teachers and staff are being trained to use EpiPens properly.

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