Parents urge school district to adjust EpiPen policy - WFSB 3 Connecticut


Parents urge school district to adjust EpiPen policy

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Parents urge school district to adjust EpiPen policy (WFSB) Parents urge school district to adjust EpiPen policy (WFSB)

The parents of a 7-year-old Saint James School student said they are desperate to bring change to the Stratford School District's food allergy management policy.

Their daughter has a severe nut allergy and while she's safe in the classroom, it is her bus ride that has them worried.

Francesca Martin carries an EpiPen with her but she is too young to use it, which is why her parents want a trained adult on her 25 minute bus ride.

Martin is a typical 7-year-old child.

"Frozen is her favorite Disney movie. She sings all the songs from it and any other Disney movie. She loves playing outside. She's very creative," said her dad Jason Martin.

But she does have a serious nut allergy.

"If she went into anaphylactic shock, her throat would begin to close and she would basically lose her airways and lose her breath, which essentially could lead to death in a very short time," said Francesca's mom Alyson Martin.

The school district's in-school policy is thorough, Francesca's parents said, as there are several trained professionals at Saint James School who can administer the shot.

However, when she gets on a school bus that policy is thrown out the window and the district reverts to their medical policy for everyone, which is to pull over and call 911.

"If you're supervising children in any way, shape or form, at any time during the day, you should know how to use an epinephrine auto injector," said Gina Mennett Lee, a food allergy consultant and educator.

She said one in 13 children in the country have a food allergy and said learning to use an EpiPen is relatively simple.

The Martins said they have been going back and forth with the district since September and they said they hope the district will see the value in what they are proposing and implement a change to its policy.

"It's imperative these children have immediate access to that epinephrine and that someone is there to inject it," Mennett Lee said.

The district has not returned calls made by Eyewitness News.

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