epipen at school

30 replies [Last post]
By leahliam on Wed, 04-18-07, 21:04

My son has carried an epipen in a fanny pack since he has started school 2 & 1/2 years ago. He is now in 2nd grade and I received a phone call from the school nurse saying that they feel it is unsafe and he cannot carry it anymore. They have contacted my doctor and said that they will not be responsible for the one that he carries he can only have one in the nurse's office. I am having a hard time with the idea of sending him to school without his epipen on him. We have drilled him over and over that he must have it on him at all times and how to be responsible for it. Has any one had a problem like this and what did you do about it? Thanks!

------------------
Leah J. Welch

__________________

Leah J. Welch

Groups: None
By Gail W on Wed, 04-18-07, 21:13

I see you are in New York and there is currently legislation pending on the right to carry: [url="http://www.aanma.org/cityhall/ch_childrights.htm"]http://www.aanma.org/cityhall/ch_childrights.htm[/url] Currently your state does not have a law that gives your child the right to carry his epi, but that may change soon.

Your son is in second grade and has demonstrated that he is capable of carrying his epi, so why the change now? Did something happen?

Your allergist can write a letter saying that your son needs to have his epi with him at all times. It's the AAAAI 's position that anyone who is anaphylactic must have immediate access to epi and to an adult trained to use the epi:

[url="http://www.aaaai.org/media/resources/academy_statements/position_statements/ps34.asp"]http://www.aaaai.org/media/resources/academy_statements/position_statements/ps34.asp[/url]

[i]"...Epinephrine should be kept in locations that are easily accessible and not in locked cupboards or drawers. All staff members should know these locations. [b]Children old enough to self-administer epinephrine should carry their own kits. For younger children, the epinephrine device should be kept in the classroom and passed from teacher to teacher as the child moves through the school (eg, from classroom to music to PE to lunch).[/b]

All students, regardless of whether they are capable of epinephrine self-administration, will still require the help of others because the severity of the reaction may hamper their attempts to inject themselves. Adult supervision is mandatory...."[/i]

(bold by me)

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited April 18, 2007).]

Groups: None
By saknjmom on Wed, 04-18-07, 23:13

Hi, here in NJ students are allowed to carry epi and inhalers. each district has adapted the law in different ways.
I tried to make it so DS could carry because otherwise the meds were locked in the nurse's office.
His doctor was not in favor of a 5 year old carrying around an epi pen. He will not approve it until 4th grade for my son. He felt that the risk of him losing it, someone playing with it etc outweighed the risk of it being locked in the nurse's cabinet.
NJ just amended the laws so that the epi pen can travel with the student and it will no longer be mandatory that it is locked with other meds.
On FAAN website there is information about self carrying, I believe. I just saw something about NY, CT changing their laws. Take a look.

Groups: None
By leahliam on Thu, 04-19-07, 00:22

The school nurse told me that state regulators came to the school and looked through her paperwork and noticed that my son did not have permission to carry it only that he had permission to have it locked in her cabinet. This was noticed after he's been carrying it for 2 & 1/2 years. The school nurse than called my son's doctor and told her that she would have to give written permission but that my son would be 100% responsible for it and that the teachers and staff were not able to touch it. My son's doctor told me that she did not feel good about writing permission for it knowing that my son is the one who is responsible for it. I have contacted a different doctor and we are visiting him tomorrow and I am hoping that he will give written permission. I guess that I am just tired of everyone being so worried about being held responsible and that they are all out to cover their own selves rather than worry about the health and safety of my son.

------------------
Leah J. Welch

__________________

Leah J. Welch

Groups: None
By saknjmom on Thu, 04-19-07, 11:47

I was also uncomfortable having the epi locked in the nurse's office. There was no getting around it for us based on the laws at the time and the input from our allergist (who i highly respect). She is a full time nurse, our school is very small, there are intercoms in every classroom to call the nurse in emerg. There are two other keys to her office and to the cabinet one in principal's office and also in the main office.
My son's classrooms for the past 3 years have gotten farther from the nurse though. Next year, he is going to be downstairs. We have new laws about locking epi in cabinet and the epi pen should be in his classroom for next school year based on these new policies. If not, I feel that he will be old enough to self carry.

Groups: None
By theresaa on Thu, 04-19-07, 13:59

My son will start school this year and the school nurse says the same thing, that the epipen is kept locked in her office. I asked her about when she is not in her office and they need the epipen and all she said was she was in the office over 90% of the time and i also asked about when she is off and she really didn't give me a straight answer on that either. We are not happy with this but not sure what to do.

Groups: None
By theresaa on Thu, 04-19-07, 14:03

Also, when i asked about riding the school bus and what other children with allergies do since they can't carry epipens, she said that they don't have an epipen on the school bus.

Groups: None
By saknjmom on Thu, 04-19-07, 14:10

Quote:Originally posted by theresaa:
[b] I asked her about when she is not in her office and they need the epipen and all she said was she was in the office over 90% of the time and i also asked about when she is off and she really didn't give me a straight answer on that either. We are not happy with this but not sure what to do.

[/b]
I have an agreement with school that if the nurse is absent and a sub is not available, my ds does not go to school and has an excused absence.
The school is to notify me immediately if the nurse leaves the building during the day for any reason, for any length of time.
This has worked well. This year, she has not been absent and she stays at school from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.
The head secretary is in charge of calling me in the event of her absence.

Groups: None
By stephi13339 on Thu, 04-19-07, 14:34

I'm also in NY, although my dd won't start preK until next year.
I found a food allergy module online [b]FOR NY[/b] school nurses. I'm going to rearaise the thread for you.
Also on this website- go to medication forms. The 2 that I saw that would be helpful to you are #1-Determination of Self-Directed Students and #2-Self Medication Release Form.
Hope these help!

Groups: None
By stephi13339 on Thu, 04-19-07, 14:39

One thing that bothered me--
Quote:The school nurse than called my son's doctor and told her that she would have to give written permission but that my son would be 100% responsible for it and that the teachers and staff were not able to touch it.

That's completely untrue and very misleading!! Under the good samariatan law, unlicesed personnel and staff CAN administer epi-pen. Maybe because of the way the nurse worded it to your physician (which is completely misleading!) is why they didn't want to give permission. Just because your child will be carrying it, doesn't mean that he's solely responsible for administering it. You can find information about this on the website I raised for you.

Groups: None
By Gail W on Thu, 04-19-07, 14:46

Quote:Originally posted by theresaa:
[b]My son will start school this year and the school nurse says the same thing, that the epipen is kept locked in her office. I asked her about when she is not in her office and they need the epipen and all she said was she was in the office over 90% of the time and i also asked about when she is off and she really didn't give me a straight answer on that either. We are not happy with this but not sure what to do.[/b]

I am also in St. Louis area. You school nurse may not be aware that last summer legislation was passed giving children the right to carry thier epi: [url="http://www.moga.state.mo.us/statutes/C100-199/1670000627.HTM"]http://www.moga.state.mo.us/statutes/C100-199/1670000627.HTM[/url]

Groups: None
By stephi13339 on Thu, 04-19-07, 14:52

Oh, this makes me so mad!!!
Look up "Anaphylaxis Protocol for Non-licensed Staff"

It is the school nurse's responsibilty to TRAIN the staff how to use the epi-pen. Once that training has been completed, they sign the above document.

Groups: None
By saknjmom on Thu, 04-19-07, 14:58

I also cited the good samaritan law, but each district and the state school board interprets and implements policies differently.
In NJ, there were laws allowing a backup person to be trained.
The schools adapted it...the layperson needed CPR and Red Cross training, the layperson could not administer any other meds like benadryl, lots of other junk. Every time I cited the Good Samaritan Law, they were like well the samaritan doesn't have access to the locked cabinet etc.

Anyway, NJ just fixed that mess and new policies and procedures will be in place that do not hinder the ability to have designees.

(BTW, it was always implied that someone would give the epi in emergency...we love our kids, etc. although they wouldn't put it in writing) KWIM??

Groups: None
By Gail W on Thu, 04-19-07, 15:26

Wouldn't who a nurse can designate to perform certain duties (such as administer meds) be addressed in the state's Nurse Practice Acts? You could ask the nurse if she is a "Registered" licensed nurse (RN) ask her to provide you with copies of the nurse practice acts that apply to the situation. That would get her attention.

Groups: None
By theresaa on Thu, 04-19-07, 16:23

I asked her about the teacher keeping it in her desk and she was concerned that other children could get it. I don't think she is aware of any law being passed but i am going to give her a call about that.

Also, my allergist didn't seem to think that he should carry it on him, she thinks he is to young.

Theresa

Groups: None
By NicoleinNH on Thu, 04-19-07, 16:35

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 09, 2007).]

Groups: None
By theresaa on Thu, 04-19-07, 17:02

I just called the school nurse to ask her if she was aware of a law being passed that would let children carry the epipens and she said she wasn't and she was also concerned about other childrne getting it if he carried it.

Groups: None
By McCobbre on Fri, 04-20-07, 03:05

DS has carried his Epi from class to class since he was in K. He's in 3rd grade now. He did misplace it a couple of times this year and last, but I think we have that under control (it was left in the music room, and the music teacher knew it was there).

He doesn't wear an epibelt, but it is in a pouch w/ benadryl and DS hands it off to each teacher. In addition, he has one in an UNLOCKED cabinet in the nurses office (nurses office is locked when nurses aren't there but can be entered by other school staff).

The situation your nurse is proposing is simply unacceptable.

An EpiPen should never only be in a locked cabinet. The fear of not finding a key was realized by a princpal friend of mine in the Richardson, Texas Independent School District a few years ago. Since then, she urged me never to allow DS' epi in a locked cabinet (at first they couldn't find the key when they needed to get Epi--I believe nurse was out that day).

The Epi also needs to be in the classroom with your DS. And it needs to travel with him to specials (music, PE, art) and to lunch. And to the playground. Two-three minutes is too long to wait to get to the nurse's office. If he is not going to carry it, who is?

And only your nurse can administer? What if your nurse is out sick? Who can administer the Epi then?

This really is not acceptable.

__________________

My posts may not be published by anyone without getting express written consent by me.

Groups: None
By MDGCPA on Fri, 04-20-07, 04:17

In NY State, the problem is the Dept of Ed gave the Nurse (who is not mandated in the building, but they suggest it is best practice??) permission to train other staff members on how to administer an Epipen. Problem is OTHER STAFF HAS TO BE WILLING TO TRAIN. Unions tell teachers not to take on the responsibility, so most teachers refuse. We have a major problem in my DS's elementary school. Only staff willing to be responsible are Nurse and Principal, period! Even new Food Allergy Module is a "guideline", not a mandate.

As far as epipen in nurses office, the major change our nurse instituted was to only "lock" her cabinet when she leaves for the day. Otherwise, cabinet is always unlocked for speed of access.

The question of being self-directed here (on Long Island), has been if self-directed, and we agree to sign the forms, then the school can use as excuse to not aid in administration. One of the main reasons we will not give permission. At 9yo, he absolutely will need adult help in administering. Also, consider what could happen if another child were to take the epipen and were to use it on another child? Who would be responsible in that scenario...

[This message has been edited by MDGCPA (edited April 20, 2007).]

__________________

--------------
Marcy
DS - 9 P/TNA
DD - 13 Bee sting

Groups: None
By Gail W on Fri, 04-20-07, 04:48

Quote:Originally posted by NicoleinNH:
[b]In NH the law states that a PARENT must designate and train. I had to do it with each person on my daughter's 'list'; even the school nurse. Many had already been trained on epipen use, but it is still required, in this state, that I designate and train each person--then there is a specific form we all have to sign.[/b]

You probably have already seen this. . . nothing surprising, just FYI as I thought you might be interested.
[url="http://www.ed.state.nh.us/education/doe/organization/instruction/HealthHIVAIDS/schoolhealthserviceepinephrineautoinjectoradm.htm"]http://www.ed.state.nh.us/education/doe/...injectoradm.htm[/url]

In Missouri, nursing practice acts allow nurses to delegate.

Groups: None
By Gail W on Fri, 04-20-07, 04:52

Quote:Originally posted by theresaa:
[b]I just called the school nurse to ask her if she was aware of a law being passed that would let children carry the epipens and she said she wasn't and she was also concerned about other childrne getting it if he carried it. [/b]

Okay, if child shouldn't carry it, then maybe there should be several epi-pens available throughout the building: [url="http://www.house.mo.gov/bills061/biltxt/truly/HB1245T.HTM"]http://www.house.mo.gov/bills061/biltxt/truly/HB1245T.HTM[/url]

This is how our St. Louis county school district does it. Our school district supplies multiple epi-pens so that there is one is every one of my daughter's classrooms, plus the front office, plus in multiple "trauma kits" located throughout the building, plus in the cafeteria, and in the nurses office.

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited April 20, 2007).]

Groups: None
By saknjmom on Fri, 04-20-07, 10:38

although it is not what we think seems the right thing to do, many states have laws that medication at school must be locked. NJ just passed a law (within a month) to change that with regard to epi pens.

Groups: None
By leahliam on Fri, 04-20-07, 11:28

I want to than you all for all of your help and support! I brought my son to his allergist yesterday (instead of his pediatrician) and I explained what was going on. She believed that it was safer for my son to carry the epipen and wrote a script for it! I brought the script to the school nurse and she said that they had decided if I was able to provide a script that they weren't going to pursue anything. I asked why after 2 1/2 years without any trouble they did this and she told that there was an incidence in another classroom where a student carries an epipen. I also let my pediatrician know how disappointd I was with their office and that I was happy to find a doctor who was willing to put my son's safety first!

------------------
Leah J. Welch

__________________

Leah J. Welch

Groups: None
By theresaa on Fri, 04-20-07, 12:16

[quote]Originally posted by Gail W:
[B] Okay, if child shouldn't carry it, then maybe there should be several epi-pens available throughout the building: [url="http://www.house.mo.gov/bills061/biltxt/truly/HB1245T.HTM"]http://www.house.mo.gov/bills061/biltxt/truly/HB1245T.HTM[/url]

This is how our St. Louis county school district does it. Our school district supplies multiple epi-pens so that there is one is every one of my daughter's classrooms, plus the front office, plus in multiple "trauma kits" located throughout the building, plus in the cafeteria, and in the nurses office.

She seems to think that the Epipen's should only be kept in her office under lock and key for the safety of other children.

I also called the school bus transportation and asked them what the policy was and they told me that some of the bus drivers knew how to give the epipen but it wasn't a requirement and they don't carry them and of course if my child isn't able to carry his own at school then he would be without an epipen on his ride home. Even if he did carry it the person i talked to at transportation told me that she didn't know how comfortable the bus drivers would be giving the epipen.

I asked the school nurse about this and what other children do and she said they just don't have the epipen during the ride home.

I am trying to teach my child to NEVER go anywhere without it and school is trying to say that it's okay not to have it everywhere you go.

Theresa

Groups: None
By saknjmom on Fri, 04-20-07, 12:36

Quote:Originally posted by leahliam:
[b]I want to than you all for all of your help and support! I brought my son to his allergist yesterday (instead of his pediatrician) and I explained what was going on. She believed that it was safer for my son to carry the epipen and wrote a script for it! I brought the script to the school nurse and she said that they had decided if I was able to provide a script that they weren't going to pursue anything. I asked why after 2 1/2 years without any trouble they did this and she told that there was an incidence in another classroom where a student carries an epipen. I also let my pediatrician know how disappointd I was with their office and that I was happy to find a doctor who was willing to put my son's safety first!

[/b]

is there another epi at school for your child besides the one he carries? Just curious.

Groups: None
By leahliam on Fri, 04-20-07, 12:56

My son carries his epipen in a fanny pack at all times and there is also one at the nurse's office.
As far as the bus my son is to put his fanny pack in his backpack and NEVER take it out. He knows that the only people that know it's in his bag are himself and the bus driver. The bus driver has also been trained to use it.
I was also having a problem with the fact that we stressed to my son over and over that he MUST bring his epipen with him everywhere that he goes in order to be safe and now the school wanted me to tell him that it was unsafe for him to have it at school. I told them that I would not do that and that I would keep him out of school until the issue was resolved. Luckily he only had to miss one day!

__________________

Leah J. Welch

Groups: None
By Gail W on Fri, 04-20-07, 14:05

Quote:Originally posted by leahliam:
The school nurse . . . that my son would be 100% responsible for it and that [b]the teachers and staff were not able to touch it. [/b]

Why can't the staff not touch the epi-pen that your child carries? Has this been addressed?

Quote:Originally posted by leahliam:
was also having a problem with the fact that we stressed to my son over and over that he MUST bring his epipen with him everywhere that he goes in order to be safe and now the school wanted me to tell him that it was unsafe for him to have it at school. I told them that I would not do that and that I would keep him out of school until the issue was resolved.

I admire you for taking a stand here regarding [b]self carry[/b]. Our SD had policy that prohibitted students from carrying any medication. That existed until I pushed for the district to change that policy, which they did upon Mariah's enterance into Middle School. Like you, we had drilled the concept that Mariah *must * carry her epi-pen, but when she started Kindergarten she was not allowed to do so. It was very traumatic and stressful for her. I think you were wise to insist that your son carrying his epi. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

[b]Self administration[/b] is a different issue. That AAAAI position statement makes it very clear that no one, regardless of age, can always be depended upon to self-administer because anaphylaxis can render the person incapable of doing so. Whether or not a child carries their epi, the adults around a child with LTFAs must be trained in sysmptoms of an allergic reaction and how to administer the epi.

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited April 20, 2007).]

Groups: None
By Gail W on Fri, 04-20-07, 14:25

Quote:Originally posted by theresaa:
[b]I also called the school bus transportation and asked them what the policy was and they told me that some of the bus drivers knew how to give the epipen but it wasn't a requirement and they don't carry them and of course if my child isn't able to carry his own at school then he would be without an epipen on his ride home. Even if he did carry it the person i talked to at transportation told me that she didn't know how comfortable the bus drivers would be giving the epipen.

I asked the school nurse about this and what other children do and she said they just don't have the epipen during the ride home. [/b]

That's unacceptable. (and a load of **** )

Does your SD use Laidlaw as their bus company?

My daughter rides the bus (home only) and *every* bus driver is trained to use her epi-pen. She is *required* to carry her epi on the bus. Her 504 plan not only requires any driver who transports her (including all potential subs) to be trained by the school nurse regarding her food allergies. It also requires that the school district have a "Bus Emergency Plan". The "Bus Emergency Plan" is 3 pages long and gives step by step direction of what the driver is expected to due in the event of anaphylaxis.

Do you have a 504 plan?

Groups: None
By Christabelle on Fri, 04-20-07, 19:59

Hmmm... maybe I am the lone rebel here (I doubt it...>>wink<< ) but stupid rule or not my child would carry, very discreetly. (Similarly I would also have a conceal carry handgun should I choose to regardless of silly signs telling me I can't wear my otherwise lawful self-defense in some random area.)
I guess what I'm saying is - I would still have my child carry, and take the 'rather alive than following a stupid rule, and end up dead' stance. Now, this is very difficult if 1. they would search your child or 2. your child would not be secretive about it.
There is simply no way possible I would allow the only thing between my child and 10-minutes-til-death to be a locked up epi pen.
I would also of course at the same time fight for the right to carry.

Groups: None
By paulette816 on Fri, 04-20-07, 22:12

I work in a school and we keep epipens in the health room...unlocked when the nurse is there...and we have full time coverage...epipens in the emergency bag that goes with us when we're called...and epipens in the classrooms of students that are of concern. It is a small bldg. So no matter where you might be called you would be able to EASILY access emergency treatment stat. In addition to this, all food allergy children, all cold urticaria children, any child that has allergic responses but the allergen is not known, (we've had a student like this) are identified to all teachers, special teachers, cafeteria workers, homeroom moms. All involved teachers are inserviced on these children and their needs...how to recognize symptoms of anaphylaxis and how to administer the epipen. I believe that the age of the child determines in large part how school districts handle a student carrying his/her own pen. With all due respect, I personally feel that a 2nd grader, given what we provide does not have the maturity and wherewithall to assess this emergent situation. My fear would be that the student, hypothetically speaking, would feel he was starting to have a reaction after lunch, let's say, at recess, administer his medication, but who would know that? I can say that the way we handle this situation currently has never been a problem with any parent.

Groups: None
By luvmyboys on Sat, 04-21-07, 01:39

My boys 4 and 6 yrs have been wearing their epi's all school year. Neither has ever opened the velcro'd pack or forgotten the belt anywhere besides our bathroom counter. They've never taken off the belt at school and I'm hard pressed to see how some other six year old is going to manage to take the belt off my son and open the pouch, unscrew the lid off the case and figure out how to use the epi before an adult notices...perhaps it is an issue we would need to discuss in a few years, but not now. In fact once in a while they remind me to check the epi to insure it is still intact/in good condition.

The day someone tells me they can't wear their epi's is the day I get a lawyer and get them to pay me to homeschool. Our state is working on the right to carry law, but right now leaves it up to the school districts to decide.

Luvmyboys

Groups: None

Peanut Free and Nut Free Directory

Peanut-Free/Nut-Free Directory

Our directory is intended as a resource for people with peanut and nut allergies. It contains foods, helpful products, and much more.

Close x

Sign up for our newsletter and receive a free peanut-free snack guide.

Stay on top of your allergy with recipes, lifestyle tips and more.

Email

PeanutAllergy.com Social

 

Poll

Where do you get your peanut allergy information?
The internet
29%
My allergist
57%
Friends or family
14%
Other
0%
Total votes: 7