New Law Allows Schools to Keep Allergy Pens

According to statistics provided by Allergy UK, approximately 44 percent of the UK adult population now suffers from at least one allergy, and the numbers are increasing. (Mintel, 2010). The numbers of children affected are also increasing.

Between 1992 and 2012 there was in increase in 615% in the number of hospital admissions related to anaphylaxis in the United Kingdom. (Turner, Paul J., et al, 2015). According to Asthma UK (2017), one in eleven children in the UK is now receiving treatment for asthma. That is more than a million children affected.

So the change in the law that enables UK schools to buy and keep available for use auto-injectors for use in emergencies upon children with serious allergies definitely seems to be a move in the right direction.

From 1st October, both primary and secondary schools will be able to order the injectors from pharmacies. They can be used if an additional dose is required, where the child’s own inhaler or epipen is not available, is not working properly, or has been administered incorrectly. There must be a risk of anaphylaxis and prior consent from the child’s parent and general practitioner. As 17% of fatal allergic reactions that affect children take place in the school, it is anticipated that this change in the law will save the lives of children.

There are a variety of causes if severe allergic reaction. The most common are food such as peanuts and seafood; insect stings; medication; and contact with latex.