Sacramento schools to stock up on EpiPens

County officials enact California law aimed to prevent deadly allergic reactions

A California bill that mandates schools to be equipped with potentially life-saving EpiPens and staff that knows how to administer them is taking hold in Sacramento County.

On Tuesday, county supervisors were poised to empower their health officer to make emergency epinephrine auto-injectors available in school districts throughout the county. These EpiPens are used when someone experiences anaphylaxis, often due to a food allergy, insect sting or adverse drug reaction.

Before Senate Bill 1266 was signed into law in September, schools were permitted but not required to have EpiPens available for their students. SB 1266 amended the California Education Code and required school districts, county offices of education and charter schools to provide school nurses and trained personnel with the EpiPens, a county staff report says. A joint-powers organization called the Schools Insurance Authority, along with local school nurses, asked Sacramento County Health Officer Olivia Kasirye to act as the authorizing physician responsible for signing the prescription orders, the report adds.