Kirk and Durbin call for allergy meds in every school
Illinois' two U.S. senators are proposing federal legislation to protect students with severe allergies.
Earlier this year, the state of Illinois passed a law allowing school nurses to give epinephrine, or an epi-pen, to any student having an allergic attack. The drug quickly reduces symptoms in severe allergic reactions.
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said the proposed law would apply nation-wide, and give any authorized adult the right to give medication.
"If we have a good samaritan law, no one will hesitate because of liability concerns to deliver the epi-pen," Kirk said.
Chicago doctors at Children's Memorial Hospital said at Monday's press conference that mistakenly giving an epi-pen to a child without allergies isn't dangerous, and for the one in 25 kids with severe food allergies, it can save their life.
As for who will pay for the medication, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said, "My guess is PTA's will have no problem with a little bake sale to pay for them if necessary."
Kirk and Durbin said they'll introduce the legislation in the Senate this week and they expect it to have wide bi-partisan support.