Sometimes it takes a tragedy for action to be taken in a certain area. The residents of Chesterfield County experienced just that back in January when a 1st grader died while in school due to an allergic reaction which caused an anaphylactic shock. The death may have been avoided if an emergency injection of Epinephrine, colloquially know as an Epipen, had been immediately available. Unfortunately by law the school could not maintain a stock of Epipens unless the child had a doctor’s prescription and the parent had brought it and the Epipen to the school for them to use in an emergency and that could only be used on that specific child.
The Chesterfield County School System had several procedures in place at the time to handle food related allergies. According to Shawn Smith, spokesman for Chesterfield County Schools, back in July 2011 they had mailed to every household who had enrolled a child in the school system, a letter outlining their policies regarding allergies and what parents needed to do to ensure the safety of their child. Parents were also instructed on how to have their child’s medication on hand at the school. At the beginning of the current school year the school system counted in excess of 58,000 students enrolled but only 639 were registered with allergies that would possibly put them at risk. Mr. Smith also said that since the January tragedy more than 40 families have regi