504 Question - Allergic reaction in classroom...What to do?

Posted on: Thu, 03/16/2006 - 1:10pm
Ohio's picture
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Joined: 05/23/2005 - 09:00

We are developing a 504 plan for our child who will be in kindergarten this fall. In Ohio, the law concerning prescription drugs (i.e., epi-pens) states "All such drugs shall be stored in that location in a locked storage place..." For our school, the locked storage place is in the Principal's office. Each classroom has a phone and an intercom (with a panic button).

This law is in the process of being revised, so we don't need to discuss the law. But until it is revised, we have this question:

If our child has a reaction at school, what should we instruct the school to do?

1. Teacher should escort our child to the office for medical treatment.
2. Teacher should notify the office staff (via the intercom) that our child is having a reaction and to bring benadryl and epi-pens to the classroom.
3. A teacher or adult should go to the office to retrieve the medicine.

What is the best way to handle this scenario? We welcome your suggestions.

Posted on: Thu, 03/16/2006 - 1:14pm
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

I would put an extra one in a locked place in the classroom and the teacher would have the key. That way you are still following the law, and yet nobody has to go get it or bring it if there is a reaction. We have four at school, one in the office, one in the cafeteria, one in the classroom, and one in the library.

Posted on: Thu, 03/16/2006 - 10:34pm
BaileyB's picture
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Joined: 07/13/2004 - 09:00

1. Teacher should escort our child to the office for medical treatment.
I have read that someone having a reaction should not walk anywhere as it can make a reaction worse. So this would be out.
2. Teacher should notify the office staff (via the intercom) that our child is having a reaction and to bring benadryl and epi-pens to the classroom.
I prefer meds in the classroom, but if no way around this, then I think this is the best option.
3. A teacher or adult should go to the office to retrieve the medicine.
The teacher should stay with the student. Someone going to retrieve the meds would take longer than having someone bring the meds from the office, so I think option 2 is the best of the 3 options.
Bailey

Posted on: Fri, 03/17/2006 - 2:24am
Momcat's picture
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Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

We have option 2 in place. Someone from the office brings the meds to the classroom, or in the case of a minor reaction, someone from the office comes to escort DD to the office. We have 2 Epipens + Benadryl + medicine spoon in the office. In addition our daughter carries an Epipen on her person at school. Her teacher has a walkie-talkie because calling the office from the classroom phone often sends you to voicemail!
Cathy
------------------
Mom to 6 1/2 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 3 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

Posted on: Fri, 03/17/2006 - 10:41am
PeanutKate's picture
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Joined: 05/24/2000 - 09:00

OHIO Revised Statute 3313.713 (1998) mandates the board of education to adopt a policy authorizing its employees to administer prescription drugs to students enrolled in the schools of its district. The statute further outlines the following requirements for administering drugs: a written statement from a parent or guardian, a signed statement from a physician that includes the student's name, name of the drug, dosage, dates administration is to begin and end, possible adverse reactions, and [b]special storage instructions for the drug[/b]; and an original container for each drug which will be stored in an inaccessible location.
Ohio law does not seem to prohibit the storage of epi-pens on the person so if your doctor states the epi-pen must be stored in an epi-belt then the school has to comply. This storage issue comes up often in a variety of States and even in Canada but few places truly have a law that says epinephrine cannot be carried. School boards don't stop and think about individual needs but the law does and your doctor can ensure that your child has epinephrine in the classroom. My child is never without his epi-belt and it is a double belt so he always has two pens. I can't imagine him leaving the house without it at is waist. We began fighting this battle when he was 3 and beginning pre-school and from time to time it crops up. I am lucky that now in Ontario, Canada the law specifically mentions epinephrine and schools and day cares have to allow it on the person but originally the law only said that the doctor had to specify storage and that is what Ohio law says too. I searched the web and found several Ohio school board policies recognizing the doctor's right to state storage requirements including this one: [url="http://www.ohiovalley.k12.oh.us/ovsd/Board/Board%20Policy/SECTION%20J.pdf"]http://www.ohiovalley.k12.oh.us/ovsd/Board/Board%20Policy/SECTION%20J.pdf[/url] Sometimes taking several policies from other state boards dealing with the same law will help change minds.

Posted on: Sat, 03/18/2006 - 12:14am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Awesome research PeanutKate!!! Ohio, she even highlighted the statement for you (page 72).

Posted on: Sat, 03/18/2006 - 2:00am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

We are just starting the 504 for DD going to kindergarten next year, in Ohio. The whole process has stunk so far, however, while reading the school procedures, she is allowed to carry epinephrine with her. (Not sure how we are going to deal with that, as she is 5).
So ask to see the school policies. Ours were all online, so we just went to the school district website and kept reading. I would need to find it, but the statement was something like all medications need to be locked up except those needing injectable medications which would be allowed.
I know this is not perfectly specific, but you get the idea I hope. Good Luck!!

Posted on: Sat, 03/18/2006 - 10:57am
PeanutKate's picture
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Joined: 05/24/2000 - 09:00

My son has always carried his epi-pen in the epi-belt at his waist. In fact he has always had the double belt. We started this at age 3 after being reassured that the epi-belt will withstand extreme pressure so would withstand playground and other activities. I wanted to be sure that he got used to having the pens on him always and now at almost 12 they are part of him whenever he steps outside the house--even into our own yard or onto the deck. It was worrisome but more so for me than for him or the school. I got used to it quickly especially when a Kindergarten girl in the next city died because hers was too far away.

Posted on: Sat, 03/18/2006 - 5:40pm
Ohio's picture
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Joined: 05/23/2005 - 09:00

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. Our school has no defined policy since it is defined by Ohio law. We will probably try to implement option #2 (Teacher should notify the office staff) but also request that an "locked storage place" be in the classroom. The issue of it being "locked" also concerns us so we will need to define how many adults have a key or access to the key.
I mentioned I did not want to discuss the law in Ohio, but I feel it necessary to clarify some things so others in Ohio do not misinterpret the advice in this post.
Ohio Revised Code 3313.713 does mandate that no drug shall be administered to a student unless the school board has a signed statement by the "prescriber," that includes "special instructions for administration of the drug, including sterile conditions and storage." This is just one of a long list of requirements.
Ohio Revised Code 3313.713 also states "The board, or a person designated by the board, shall establish a location in each school building for the storage of drugs to be administered under this section and federal law. All such drugs shall be stored in that location in a locked storage place, except that drugs that require refrigeration may be kept in a refrigerator in a place not commonly used by students."
Although a few school boards may accept a statement defining the "storage" of a prescription drug as "carried on the student," my guess is most schools do not interpret the law this way.
No one we have spoken to at the Ohio Department of Education or the Ohio Department of Health has interpreted the law this way. If schools in Ohio readily accepted your interpretation, there would have been no need for Ohio Revised Code 3313.716 (1999) which specifically allows students to possess and use asthma inhalers.
Instead of trying to change the minds of our School Board members (which could change back at any time), we decided to try to change the law permanently.
We have been working with Senator Schuring on revising the law to specifically allow epinephrine medication to be carried by the student. The new legislation is available online at [url="http://www.legislature.state.oh.us"]www.legislature.state.oh.us[/url] (Senate Bill 164). Here is the direct link:
[url="http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=126_SB_164"]http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=126_SB_164[/url]
Sorry to be such a stickler for the wording/interpretation of the law, but I felt it was important to clarify.
[This message has been edited by Ohio (edited March 19, 2006).]

Posted on: Sun, 03/19/2006 - 12:05am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

I'm just curious... why did you choose to have the self-carry statute included in a bill that has several other school issues? Was that a tactical strategy for passage?
Edited to link: [url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum19/HTML/000070.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum19/HTML/000070.html[/url]
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited March 19, 2006).]

Posted on: Sun, 03/19/2006 - 3:01am
Ohio's picture
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Joined: 05/23/2005 - 09:00

We were not involved in the original draft legislation, but here is an excerpt of an e-mail I received from the Senator's aide last year:
"This legislation, which was developed with the assistance and support of the American Lung Association of Ohio, is based on similar legislation (Senator Randy Gardner

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