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Food Allergy Awareness Reaches President’s Desk

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WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 13: U.S. President Barack Obama signs the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act (H.R. 2094) in the Oval Office of the White House on November 13, 2013 in Washington, DC. The bill gives financial incentives to states to make sure schools have a stockpile epinephrine to prevent deaths from severe food allergies. (Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 13: U.S. President Barack Obama signs the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act (H.R. 2094) in the Oval Office of the White House on November 13, 2013 in Washington, DC. The bill gives financial incentives to states to make sure schools have a stockpile epinephrine to prevent deaths from severe food allergies. (Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has signed legislation giving financial incentives to states to stockpile emergency medications in schools that could save lives in the cases of allergic reactions.

The deaths of two girls in Illinois and Virginia from severe food allergies helped spur efforts to get schools to stockpile epinephrine.

Epinephrine is considered the first-line treatment for people with severe allergies. The medication is administered by injection through preloaded EpiPens.

The measure was co-sponsored by Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk.

In a statement Wednesday, the two said the new law will save lives and give families peace of mind.

A recent CDC survey found about 1 in 20 U.S. children had food allergies — a 50 percent increase from the late 1990s.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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