To view a map of current status of laws relating to epinephrine in schools, click here.
Carrying Prescribed Epinephrine at School
Every state in the U.S. has legislation in place allowing students, with appropriate consent, to carry their prescribed epinephrine at school. In some states, the permission to carry may also extend to activities held on school property and during transportation to and from school or school-related events. Many of these state laws also apply to prescribed asthma medications.
Stock Epinephrine at School
Expanding the availability of epinephrine auto-injectors in schools is a significant advocacy focus for FARE. With approximately 20-25 percent of epinephrine administrations in the school setting involving students or staff whose allergy was unknown at the time of the event , the availability of undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors – devices that are not prescribed to a particular student and that may be used in anaphylactic emergencies – is critical. Many students who may need epinephrine may have no known history of allergy to food, bee stings, latex and other allergens, and therefore would not have a prescription of their own.
Nearly every state has passed legislation regarding stocking undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors in K-12 schools.
The bills and laws can differ by state. In some cases, only a school nurse can administer the epinephrine auto-injector to a student with no known history of food allergy. In other instances, multiple designees may administer the medication in an emergency.
McIntre CL, Sheetz AH, Carroll CR, Young MC. Administration of epinephrine for life-threatening allergic reactions in school settings. J Pediatr. 2005; 116(5): 1134-1140.
FARE staff has been actively involved in a number of state efforts – from identifying advocates to providing data and information about best practices, to providing letters of support and working alongside allied professionals with a shared goal of expanding access to epinephrine. If you are interested in learning more about what is happening in your state, and how to get involved, please use our Contact Us form and select Advocacy for your subject line.
On November 13, 2013, President Obama signed into law the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act. The federal legislation provides a financial incentive for states to enact their own laws requiring schools to keep non-student specific epinephrine auto-injectors in case of an emergency.