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George Washington Carver School welcomes U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown

CMSD's George Washington Carver School was selected by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown this morning to announce proposed legislation to make it easier for students to have access to their asthma and anaphylaxis medications in school.

Students, staff and Principal Stephanie Eafford welcomed Brown and his staff, who used the E. 55th Street school to announce what he said was bi-partisan legislation that "would encourage states to ensure that schools maintain epinephrine auto-injectors on site and to permit trained school personnel to administer epinephrine if a student has an anaphylactic reaction."

CMSD staff and a parent whose child has an allergy demonstrated the "epi pen" for Brown before the news conference.

According to a news release from Brown's office: One of every 13 American children has a food allergy. For these children, school lunchtime, a classmate’s birthday party, or even skin contact with food to which they are allergic can cause a severe and life-threatening reaction. Anaphylactic shock is a systemic allergic reaction that can kill in minutes. Epinephrine is a life-saving treatment for anaphylaxis that should be given immediately after symptoms begin. A quarter of anaphylaxis cases at schools involve children with previously unknown allergies and are unlikely to carry epinephrine.

Ten years ago, Congress passed legislation establishing a preference for Federal asthma grants to states with laws allowing children to bring their asthma and anaphylaxis medications to school, in case they need to self-administer the medications. Today, school, medical, and patient organizations recommend that schools “stock” non-student specific epinephrine that can be used to save the life of a child having a reaction for the first time or one whose epinephrine is not readily available. The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act would update existing law to encourage states to adopt this practice.

The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act is supported by Food Allergy Research and Education, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.