New Law Allows Students to Hold On to EpiPens

  1. Girl's effort allows anti-shock device to be carried in schools.

    With the help of her mother, Blair Ryan, a registered nurse, Kelsey began pushing for a change and made a trip to Tallahassee to lobby. The bill went through several legislative committees and no one testified against it.

    TALLAHASSEE -- Nine-yearold Kelsey Ryan is severely allergic to peanuts. If she were to eat one -- or even something with peanut oil in it -- "I would probably die," she says.

    So everywhere she goes she carries an EpiPen, a needle that allows her to give herself a quick injection of epinephrine to reverse the swelling of an allergic reaction that would close her airway.

    At her school, all her teachers know about it, and the device is with her in the classroom. But in some Florida school districts, children can't have them on their person -- they're usually kept in the office. A new law that Kelsey pushed changes that so kids who need them can carry them.

    "It makes me feel very good," Kelsey said before meeting with Gov. Jeb Bush on Monday.

    Bush signed the bill, named the Kelsey Ryan Act, last month, and it takes effect Jan. 1.

    Kelsey, who will be a fourthgrader next year at Celebration K-8 School in the Orlando suburb of Celebration, said when she found out that kids in some other schools might not be able to give themselves an injection in time, she thought it wasn't fair.

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  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Kids SHOULD be able to have easy access to these things, since you never know when you'll encounter your allergy.
  4. by   BittyBabyGrower
    I totally agree...and a 9 year old is more than capable! My DD carries one and when they first wanted her to leave in the office I asked if anyone knew how to use it and what it was for..not one teacher, aide , secretary or principal could tell me how to use it. I went to the school board and not only can they carry the epi pen they can take their inhalers with them too...they wanted those in the office too...I said, what if the secretary is at lunch and one of the kids has an acute asthma attack on the playground? No answer their either.

    I have an issue with unlicensed people handling kids meds...I am afraid they will mix it up!
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I think a kid old enough to be out and about SHOULD have the maturity to easily access an epi-pen and be trained on its use. It may save a life. But with school "weapons policies" dont' expect it to get wide support.
  6. by   ERNURSE4MS
    I Think that the school board has gotten out of control with the bans it has set in place to "protect" the kids in schools. That a child has to go to the senate to keep a life saving device on their person is horrible. It is going to take something really bad to wake them up.
  7. by   carolinapooh
    Deleted because somehow I posted the same thing twice!
    Last edit by carolinapooh on Jun 23, '05
  8. by   carolinapooh
    [QUOTE=carolinapooh]Someone is going to sue a school district over it. Someone's kid is going to end up in a bad way and someone's head in the Central Office will roll as a result.

    If it were my child, and we were told she can't have an Epi-Pen or Albuterol or WHATEVER, you can bet they'd hear me all the way to DC. I'd become a civil rights freak sideshow, doing everything but burning the school superintendent in effigy in my front yard. This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of in my life.

    Doesn't letting the drugs sit in the principal's office amount to unlicensed personnel dispensing meds? Isn't that a FEDERAL violation?

    This is ridiculous. Isn't it sad when a group of adults are outsmarted by a child thinking something totally illogical is just "not fair"?

    (Edited to add, laughingly: Good Lord. The way I've been revved up today, I think I need medication - something along the lines of Valium or Adderall! )
  9. by   nitengale75
    In our school district, students are allowed to carry epi pens and inhalers as long as the correct paperwork is on file. This includes an order from the doctor which states the student has been trained in the correct way to use the prescribed medicine. It is also signed by the parent. We have a nurse in every building in our district. In the event the nurse is absent and no sub is available, every effort is made to have another nurse cover the meds. When all else fails, only the administrator of the buidling will administer medications. A secretary never gives meds in our district. Our union supports the secretaries in every way concerning this.