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Schools Stock Epi-Pens

epi penMEDFORD, Ore. — Southern Oregon schools say they have been training teachers on how to deal with students experience severe allergic reactions. Now, schools across the country could get a big incentive to keep that medication on hand.

Last week, President Obama signed a bill that provides a financial incentive for schools that stock epinephrine to treat severe allergic reactions. Schools across Southern Oregon say this is something they have already been training for some time.

Medford schools keep Epi-Pens on hand in case of an emergency, and teachers train each year on when and how to use them. They also take the medication with them on field trips in case of an emergency. Some schools also take extra steps to make sure kids with severe allergies are not exposed to certain foods, and they say information provided by parents and families help in that process.

“We get information from parents about, for example, milk allergies or peanut allergies, in our cafeteria we have a peanut-free-zone where we have students sit who have peanut allergies and provide juice and other things, so parents are really conscientious about letting us know,” Washington Elementary Principal Joe Frazier.

Many schools also partner with health clinics that are based inside schools, which also stock Epi-Pens and have information on a students’ health requirements. Last month, the Centers for Disease Control issued guidelines asking schools to make epinephrine available and to limit foods that cause severe allergic reactions.