Keeping allergy pen at child's school can be life saver


Rohan Sharma has peanut allergies and his mother, Archna Sharma, faithfully keeps emergency medicine with her at all times.

"We've kept an EpiPen or a Benadryl with us everywhere we go," Archna said.

They're like many families whose children have severe peanut allergies, food allergies or allergies to insect stings who keep rescue medicines with them. And now there are some new options. There's a generic epinephrine pen which is cheaper; and there's the talking EpiPen.

The talking EpiPen can guide a parent or school nurse through what can be a scary situation.

Rohan's mother sends his prescription pen to school. But some children find out later that they have serious food allergies.

"Twenty to 25 percent of children with peanut or nut allergies have their first reaction at school before anyone knows that they have a food allergy. So it's very important to have epinephrine in the school to treat those children, and it has to be an unassigned pen," said Dr. Carla Davis with the Texas Children's Food Allergy Clinic.

An HISD spokesman says school regulations only allow a child who has a prescription and brings their own EpiPen to receive it at school. If a child without an epinephrine pen has a severe allergy reaction at school, the nurse has to call 911.

"If the child is not treated rapidly after they have a reaction, they could die within minutes," Davis said.

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