LAS VEGAS -- One in every 13 children, in this country, have some form of food allergies. That works out to be about two kids in every classroom. Allergic reactions can be deadly. Starting this fall, Nevada schools will have a medication that could save a child's life.
Sarah Timpa, 11, is starting 6th grade this year. Aside from the everyday school supplies, she also carries an Epipen because she is severely allergic to peanuts.
"It keeps me breathing and alive for about 10 minutes before I get to the hospital," she said.
Timpa carries her epinephrine auto-injector everywhere. Her allergy was discovered when she was a toddler and a peanut butter treat nearly killed her.
"She had hives from head to toe. You couldn't see anything but hives, it was everywhere," said Ronna Timpa, Sarah's mother.
Health experts say severe allergic reactions, or anaphylaxis, can turn deadly very quickly. Earlier this year, the Nevada Legislature passed a bill requiring every school in the state to carry Epipens on campus.
"We don't have time when students are experiencing a reaction, time is critical," said Lynn Row, the director of health services for Clark County School District.
She said Epipens contain medication that can delay a potentially fatal allergic reaction from getting worse. Each school will be stocked with at least four of the devices and designated school personnel will be trained to use them. Whenever an Epipen is used, paramedics will be called to the school.
Sarah has never had to use her Epipen, but she always has one around, just in case. Her mother is glad to finally see schools take the same precaution.
"It's better to be safe and ask questions later versus not having the opportunity to ask questions later which is a horrifying thought for any parent," she said.
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