New research shows one in 13 children will come down with some sort of food allergy.
A new law, recently signed by Governor Bill Haslam, could help in the case that the first attack happens at school.
The law authorizes all Tennessee schools to voluntarily stock epinephrine auto-injectors, better known as EpiPens.
One middle Tennessee family is pushing for EpiPens in schools because they know first
hand that the device can save lives.
Paul Tiedemann suffers from food allergies, especially nuts. He carries an EpiPen wherever he goes.
“Well, I have a lot of allergies,” explained Tiedemann.
His mother, Kendra, told Nashville's News 2 they have a lock on it so “it's strong enough to keep kids out, but an adult can get in it, just by pulling.”
Tiedemann explained how he opens it.
“First, you push it, you take off the safety cap and you push it on your leg. It saves me from having an allergic reaction,” he said.
Tiedemann had a bad reaction a couple of years ago when he snacked on something he wasn't supposed to with his brother Norman.
“Once I snuck cheese with Norman, [it] had milk in it. Right away I had a reaction,” he explained.
“When we were at the hospital and had doctors taking after him that it really hit me and I fell apart and I cried and I cried because I realized we could have lost him,” explained Kendra Tiedemann.
Kendra has been pushing for this law because a child's first food allergy reaction happens one in four times at school.
“So they won't have an EpiPen prescription. They don't have that lifesaving medication available and by the time the school calls 911 and waits for an ambulance to arrive, it could be too late.”
Nashville's News 2 contacted several area county school systems. All of them stated they are looking to develop a policy.
EpiPens4schools.com is one option. On the Web site, schools can fill out a form and obtain EpiPens for free.
Supporters can help by spreading word of the Web site to local school principals or nurses.