Epipen use

Posted on: Sun, 02/08/2015 - 4:49am
Beth V's picture
Joined: 01/15/2000 - 09:00

Hi everyone, I have an almost 18-year-old son who is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish. I have always been diligent with carrying his EpiPen and as a nurse, I have taught him how to live safely with having these allergies. He is off to college come the summer and I am finding that he is getting more lax with bringing his EpiPen where he goes. There is always an excuse, mostly, that I eat at this restaurant all the time without a problem. Have any of you encountered this problem and do you have any suggestions as to how he can bring his EpiPen with him without carrying it in a pouch. I have suggested on his waist, and I have suggested as a holster under his pant leg. Unfortunately, we live in Florida where it is mainly warm and he rarely wears long pants. Any suggestions would be very helpful. Thank you, Beth

Posted on: Sun, 02/08/2015 - 1:50pm
peanutfreechildren's picture
Joined: 02/04/2012 - 06:42

I have a 15 year old Freshman in highschool who is also becoming lax in saying that he can eat where he feels safe. I have tried to educate him that it is of course not just him in the enviroment that he shares all that can have his allergen present at any time. I did go to see an allergist with my son and to make him feel more like those that are around him we got an Auvi-Q instead of an Epi pen!
It has dramaticaly changed our lives. It fits into your pocket and is no larger than a small flip phone.
To behonest it has made him feel more normal and he feels like he can teach his friends better with the Auvi-Q since it will talk you through the entire process if you ever need to use it.
Best of luck and I hope he does start to carry. you never want to use it but must have it for that day that could always happen.

Posted on: Mon, 02/09/2015 - 12:30am
schedvi's picture
Joined: 02/09/2015 - 07:18

Our son is in 6th grade and was also reluctant to bring his Epipen's with him due to their size. We switched to AuviQ last year and it's made a difference. He can either slip one in his pocket or carry it in an old cellphone holster on his belt. It looks like and is the same size as a pager or an old flip phone. It makes it much easier when I drop my son off at a friends house and speak with the parents about his allergies. Instead of wondering if his friends or their parents will know what to do (in case my son is unconscious), I worry less because the AuviQ talks the user through the two step process through an embedded sound chip in the unit itself. The speaker is quite loud and takes the guesswork out of a potentially stressful or frightening event. Perhaps you should look into an AuviQ for your college-aged son, as they really are much more convenient and discreet to carry. Another plus is that the AuviQ injector only needs to be held against the thigh for five seconds, as opposed to the ten seconds that an Epipen requires. I've actually tested an expired AuviQ on a piece of cardboard resting on top of a clear drinking glass and can verify that the injection of the epinephrine occurs in the first second, so even if you mistakenly removed the injector after a couple of seconds, chances are that you still received the correct dosage.

Posted on: Wed, 02/18/2015 - 11:35am
Allergic Butterfly's picture
Joined: 02/18/2015 - 18:27

Hi! I'm a teenage girl with allergies and I agree with everyone who's said that the Auvi-Q is more convenient. I've had both, and the EpiPen is too bulky for me. Obviously, it's easier since I can carry a purse, but I still find myself reluctant to bring it.
Get as many Auvi-Qs (or EpiPens) as your insurance will cover (usually three 2-packs). That way, he can leave one in his backpack and one in any sports bag he has, so that he doesn't even have to think about it as long as he has a bag. What I usually do (that's the least of a hassle) if I don't have a bag is use a FlipBelt so that it's on my waist without a fanny pack. These are also quite breathable, since they're made for exercise. Good luck!
Find more ideas at https://www.pinterest.com/allergicb/epi-style/ or http://allergicbutterfly.blogspot.com/

Posted on: Tue, 03/24/2015 - 10:11pm
Kiki's picture
Joined: 03/25/2015 - 04:30

Sadly, all I can offer is my personal experiences of getting sick after letting my guard down. One was at a Thai restaurant. On about the 12th visit there, while waiting at a table near the kitchen for my food to come, I started itching and then wheezing, and had to go to a hospital. Now I avoid all Thai restaurants. Another was at a Dunkin Donuts on a road trip. I'd had a certain kind of Dunkin Donuts muffin twice recently, and didn't bother to ask again about nuts. I should have, because their recipe was different. I got sick, and had to find an ED, and the one I found wasn't great, tho obviously I did survive. I also had trouble with a frozen food company that changed their recipe. Another ED visit. It ~is~ a drag to carry epi wherever I eat. It's more of a drag to go to an ED for many boring hours plus mess up the meal and the day/night for everyone.

Posted on: Tue, 03/31/2015 - 10:15am
PeanutAllergy.com's picture
Joined: 06/21/2013 - 11:03

Question of the Week: Answered!
Every week, PeanutAllergy.com answers one of the questions posted in our community.
Our Answer:
Thank you for your question. We understand the concerns you may have about safety, especially since your son is moving away to college.
Your son may need a reminder that carrying an EpiPen at all times can be life-saving, particularly for those with severe food allergies. You can read about how an accessible EpiPen saved a student’s life here.
Because food allergies can be life-threatening, it is recommended that those who have been diagnosed be cautious and diligent. Carrying medication will allow your son to be prepared for unexpected emergencies. Find out what other precautions he can take here.
An alternative to an EpiPen is the Auvi-Q Auto Injector. The Auvi-Q fits easily into a pocket, so your son won’t have to worry about carrying a pouch. You can learn more about using the Auvi-Q and its advantages here.
Furthermore, college students with severe food allergies are advised to learn how to avoid food allergens on campus, especially in the dining halls. Read about some of the challenges your son may face at school here.
Many of our community members have worried about their children going off to college as well. Check out previous discussions about their experiences here and here.
We asked members of our Facebook community for their suggestions, and here’s what they had to say.
We hope you find this information useful. We wish your son an amazing and safe college experience!

Posted on: Wed, 06/10/2015 - 1:55am
zbrook88's picture
Joined: 12/12/2012 - 12:58

Here's my suggested carrying method: www.epi-clip.com
I suggest he clips the epipen to his waist and wear his shirt over it. This is a perfect way to conceal the pen and keep it out of direct sunlight to avoid high temps.
Hope this works for you!

Posted on: Tue, 06/16/2015 - 9:08am
mom1995's picture
Joined: 11/09/2004 - 09:00

First .... all these 'new members' pimping out the newest device..... really.
Second my 20 yr college student has been using a runner's pac. They are real small and go under her shirt. Much like a fanny pack but just the right size for her epi-pen.
Once he is out in the world he will learn that it really is nothing like school and most people aren't going to tease or even make a comment about his allergy or the pen.
I found after her first year she suddenly realized it was not something she had to be embarrassed about. She does a much better job now of telling people upfront.
She goes to college, works at a grocery store and attends every music event she can. All with two epi-pens on her body and a friend that knows how to use it. She also wheres one of the little kid designed allergy bracelet (that she would never wear before) when going to an event.
Their perspective changes.
Good luck.

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