VIRGINIA: Child dies in school from peanut allergic reaction
Posted: January 5th, 2012 - 2:52pm
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA -- Ammaria Johnson, a seven-year-old elementary school student in Chesterfield County, Virginia, died after suffering an allergic reaction at school.
According to Chesterfield police spokeswoman Elizabeth Caroon, the initial investigation revealed that the Hopkins Elementary School student, a first grader, died after she suffered an allergic reaction.
Johnson's family said it was a reaction to a peanut product. Information Johnson's mother told CBS 6 News she learned from the school principal and a doctor who treated the child.
Emergency crews were called to Hopkins Elementary Monday afternoon around 2:30 p.m. When the EMS crew arrived, the child was in cardiac arrest, according to a Chesterfield Fire Department spokesman Lt. Jason Elmore.
The child was pronounced dead a short time later at CJW Medical Center.
The child's mother Laura Pendleton was distraught and she has many questions.
"She has an allergy action plan at the school," said Pendleton, which authorizes the school to give her Benadryl during a reaction. "They didn't do that," she said.
At the beginning of this school year, the mother said she tried to give the clinical aid an Epipen for emergencies, but she was declined and told to keep it at home.
According to Chesterfield County School policy parents are supposed to provide the school medication for children with allergies.
A section of the allergy policy entitled Responsibilities for Parents/Guardians reads:
Provide the school with all daily and emergency medications prescribed by the student’s health-care provider, following school system medication administration policies. Keep medications up to date.
A spokesman for Chesterfield County school could not comment specifically about this case and instead refered to the county's allergy policy which reads in part:
Because it is difficult to predict the time or severity of an allergic reaction, it is vital to be prepared to respond rapidly in order to maintain a safe educational environment for all students. Supporting the success of a student with a severe allergy requires a team approach and a coordinated plan, so that all team members understand their roles. Team members include the parent/guardian, student, school staff members, health-care provider, public health nurse and community. A component of school emergency response plans, these severe allergy guidelines outline the roles of individuals responsible for the health and well-being of students with severe allergies, supporting inclusion of all students in school activities.
Pendleton also wanted to know how her daughter got access to the peanut product.