Last week the district distributed two EpiPens — epinephrine-filled injectors — to all 34 schools after EpiPen marketer and distributor Mylan Specialty donated them.
The injectors are to be used to help anyone in the school that goes into shock due to an allergic reaction to a bee sting or certain foods, said Paulding Schools’ Nursing Supervisor Beth Ochoa.
However, the new injectors are not meant for the students who already are prescribed EpiPens because those are provided by the children’s parents, she said.
To receive the injectors the district applied through the EpiPen4Schools program. This program is meant to help make the pens available to students, said Roger Graham Jr., president of Mylan Specialty in a statement.
“Recognizing that schools are one of the settings facing the greatest need for improved access to epinephrine, Mylan Specialty created the EpiPen4Schools program,” he said
The injectors do not expire until November 2014 after which the system will have to purchase new ones. Ochoa said they hope to be able to pay for them through grants or sponsorships.
All of the staff is trained to use the injectors and instructions are listed on them.
“They save lives, bottom line,” Ochoa said.
The nurses also received training from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in the Strong4Life program so they can be a resource for children and parents.
The program teaches nurses four steps to fighting childhood obesity. Georgia has the fourth highest rate of childhood obesity in the nation, Ochoa said.
The steps include encouraging more water and less sugar-filled drinks; being active at least 60 minutes; having fruits and vegetables on half a plate of food; and limiting screen time — television, phones and computers — to an hour a day.
“There are so many things that can fall under that umbrella of activity,” she said.
Ochoa said children can run, walk, play ping pong and more.
“The body was made to move. It was not made to sit,” she said.