Yes, a child as young as 5 could be responsible to self-administer an EpiPen if they are having an anaphylactic reaction due to lack of knowledge, standards and inconsistent policies. An EpiPen in Canada does not need a prescription from a doctor. A prescription is only needed for insurance purposes because epinephrine is considered over the counter medication, the same as aspirin. Click here or on the pdf file to read this Canadian school’s policy where they ask for permission from parent to administer an EpiPen. Its a gap that needs to be closed in Canada like it was on November 13, 2013 where President Obama Signed a New EpiPen Law To Protect Children with Asthma and Severe Allergies; article highlights are below. The law basically allows trained individuals to administer an EpiPen from a school supply to anyone, whether known to have allergies, asthma, or anaphylaxis or not using the emergency supply of epinephrine. I respect they have a law but I don’t understand why the Good Samaritan Act(s) is not enough for someone to use an EpiPen on anyone having an anaphylactic reaction.
The law makes an important change to the Children’s Asthma Treatment Grants Program and other federal asthma programs, which authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to give funding preferences to states for asthma-treatment grants if they: maintain an emergency supply of epinephrine (EpiPens), if they permit trained personnel of the school to administer epinephrine, and if they develop a plan for ensuring trained personnel are available to administer epinephrine during all hours of the school day.
The President knows in signing this new law, that the anxiety felt by millions of parents, every time their child with asthma or severe allergies heads into school, will begin to fade. An estimated 9.5% of American children suffer from asthma, and between 4 and 6% of children are affected by food allergies, either of which can strike in an instant, and have life threatening consequences. But the significance of this threat can be dramatically reduced as more schools respond to this law, and begin to prepare for these emergencies.
The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act bill was endorsed by:
The bill has also been endorsed by:
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
American Academy of Emergency Medicine
American Academy of Pediatrics
American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
National Association of Elementary School Principals
National Association of School Nurses