by: Peter Daut Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Some parents and local lawmakers believe schools have been slow to accept the dangers of allergic reactions, so they're now pushing for all North Carolina schools to carry EpiPens.
"It's very, very important. It really is a matter of life and death," mother Teri Saurer said.
Saurer's 5-year-old daughter has severe food allergies, so along with the EpiPen her daughter will take with her to kindergarten, the mother wants a backup EpiPen at school. She said she worries for other children, who may not even be aware they have severe allergies.
"It's those children that nobody knows have an allergy. The first time they have it is in school, and they have no way to help them," Saurer said.
State Sen. Andrew Brock said right now, lawmakers are studying whether North Carolina schools should be required to keep EpiPens in case of emergencies.
"The purpose of it is to have a tool to make sure when it does happen, we don't lose a child to a bee sting or allergic reaction to food," Brock said.
Right now, just nine states allow schools to stock EpiPens. Of those, only two -- Nebraska and Virginia -- actually require it.
Lawmakers hope to get the proposal passed by the end of this coming school year.