A Pennsylvania legislator has introduced a bill that would require schools to have epinephrine injectors on hand to treat food allergy reactions.
Rep. Robert Freeman (D-Northampton) said his measure, House Bill 1210, would require schools to maintain a stock of epinephrine auto-injectors and permit authorized personnel to administer them.
"Some schools already have EpiPens available, but this is not the case for every school in all 500 of our districts," Freeman said in a news release. "This bill would fill that gap and offer this safety net for children who have not been diagnosed with a food allergy or forget or misplace an injector."
Freeman said the number of children with reported food allergies has increased dramatically over the past two decades, and many children are unaware they have a food allergy.
He said studies have shown that between 16 and 18 percent of children with food allergies have had allergic reactions because they've accidentally ingested the food allergen while at school, and up to 25 percent of severe allergic reactions occurred in children with no prior history of life-threatening allergies.