EpiPens in Schools - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

EpiPens in Schools

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Spencer Kavanagh suffered a severe allergic reaction in kindergarten, now he carries his EpiPen on him at all times.

"I have two of them …'cause if I like if I used one and then I do it, then I have another one, like another allergic reaction again somewhere I can use both of them."

The second grader has several allergies that can send him into anaphylaxis - a potentially life-threatening condition.

"The foods Spencer is allergic to are peanuts and tree nuts, coconut, a number of fruits, latex," says mother Sue.

EpiPens contains epinephrine. When taken within minutes of a severe reaction, it could mean the difference between life and death. Almost all schools allow children with known allergies like Spencer to carry EpiPens but advocates worry about the students who may not be aware they are allergic until it's too late.

"About 25% of children who experience anaphylaxis experience it for the first time at school," says Charlotte W. Collins of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

A federal bill that provides incentives to states to stock emergency EpiPens in schools has made it through the House of Representatives. 27 states have already passed their own legislation and five other states have bills pending.

"If we can save a kid's life, why wouldn't we?"

The issue is finding the money to pay for the medicine and the training.

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