Age for carrying own epi-pen

Posted on: Wed, 01/17/2007 - 11:39pm
Boomer's picture
Joined: 02/09/2007 - 09:00

How do you know what age you feel comfortable with letting your child carry their own epi-pen without taking it out and showing it off? I am just wondering. I know all children are different, but I am worried about him talking about it, someone talking him into bringing it out, and then having them shoot themselves in the eye or something. But, he needs to have it with him.

Posted on: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:08am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

I'm still waiting. I actually want my son to carry one in those Epi-belts or in a pack, anything so that it is with him at all times. But he says he's scared, so he won't do it yet(he's 6). I've put one in his backpack becuase he was doign an after school karate-thing....and he never touched it, he just sat his backpack by the instructor and never told any of the kids. So I know it's up to the kid, have you talked with your son to see his level of thought. You can kind of tell by their answeres if they would get nervous, or maybe too brave(and start taking it out).....good luck, that's a tough call, but improtant!
[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited January 18, 2007).]

Posted on: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:10am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Somewhere between age 3 and 10 seems to be the norm. [img][/img]
Seriously, though-- this varies [i]sooooo[/i] much that I don't know how much useful advice you'll get. What characteristics does your son have, maturity-wise?
How well does he accept his allergy? (Generally kids aren't ready to self-carry until they see the allergy as "just part of who I am.")
Does he understand that self-carry does NOT mean "self-administer?" (Does everyone ELSE who is with him understand that?? ) This is one advantage to putting them on a 3-5 yo... NOBODY in their right mind expects kids that young to self-administer... but on a 8-10 yo, there is a question sometimes.
Just things to think about. Oh, yes... my DD has worn hers anytime she leaves the house (well... not while she is swimming or performing!) since she was about 2-3 yo. My reason was that her Hx dictated that she needed Epi pretty much IMMEDIATELY after the onset of anaphylactic symptoms, and that we wanted to set ourselves up to do that..... running to your child if they are in distress is pretty much instictive. Not running to the epi kit. She has never taken the pens out, she has NEVER played with them, and she protects that bag with her life. She answers questions about it, shrugs off l.o.l. comments about her "cute little purse" and it is just a part of her. She has left it somewhere about three times total-- one of which I posted about last fall. I carry a spare in my purse and both DH and I carry spare paper scrips for extras.
JMO. Different kids are very individual in this regard.

Posted on: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:23am
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

I know I could trust my DS to carry his own epi pen. For school, they have to have a note to carry it from the dr. Our dr. will okay it for fourth grade.
I wanted to get an epi belt and make him start carrying it with him to playdates, outings etc. My DH feels that we should not put this burden on him yet and let him be a kid....So for now, either DH or myself or whoever is in charge of him has the epi pen.
I think the age depends on the child. I know some 10 year olds who don't seem like they would be mature enough.

Posted on: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:50am
luvmyboys's picture
Joined: 05/25/2006 - 09:00

My 2 boys started carrying at almost 4 and almost 6 years old when school started this year. My oldest feels it's part of him and prefers to wear it even at home most of the time. My youngest prefers to wear it only if he will be away from us (school) but we also have him wear it on errands. Neither has ever opened the pack. But they know how to administer it.
In fact my 4 year old is sitting here and I asked him what age just now...he said 4 [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:13am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

My son has been carrying it in an epi-belt since he was 4. His school not only supports this, but insists that students carry their own epi-pens. (They do not expect him to self-administer.)
Personally, I would think a child is more likely to get talked into showing it off when he's older, rather then younger. Maybe that's just my experiences with my own children, who knows.

Posted on: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 1:52am
samirosenjacken's picture
Joined: 09/30/2002 - 09:00

Both girls have been carrying theirs since kindergarten....... they have known for years never to touch them.

Posted on: Fri, 01/19/2007 - 9:00am
Boomer's picture
Joined: 02/09/2007 - 09:00

Well, I have put his in a zipper part of his backpack. His sister knows it is there and she rides the bus with him. The school wants to meet next week to talk about it. I think they aren't too happy with it in his backpack. But he has to have it. I might get one of those belts like some of you talk about.
Just thought I would see what others have done. Thanks for the info!!

Posted on: Mon, 01/22/2007 - 4:03am
BriandBrinasmom's picture
Joined: 10/20/2006 - 09:00

My son loses everything, so we waited until there was no choice - jr. high. The support services are so poor in our school that now he has to be responsible (age 11).
I think it's like so many other parenting choices - that the appropriate age can differ dramatically for each child. However, they all eventually end up taking responsibility eventually which is all that matters.

Posted on: Mon, 01/22/2007 - 12:43pm
Kathryn's picture
Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

My son has worn an epi-belt since starting JK at age 3. He never steps outside our home without two epi-pens at his waist as he wears the double belt. He has worn it under hockey equipment, at soccer, at basketball, at volleyball etc. At swimming he leaves it poolside or with his towel at the edge of the water. In the heat he has a special first aid cooler bag to mark it as special and to keep it cool. He has never played with it or taken it out without permission. He learned that this was serious, life preserving behaviour just as he learned that stove tops are hot and should not be touched. At almost 13 he never questions wearing the belt and I am confident that he will wear it forever. At times he has worn shirts out, not tucked in so that the belt is not visible but those phases pass and most of the time he is entirely comfortable with the epi-belt.

Posted on: Wed, 01/24/2007 - 9:45am
pitterpat's picture
Joined: 02/04/2006 - 09:00

My dd is 4 and started carrying hers right after her 4th birthday. She is a mature 4 year old and fully accepts her allergy, for now [img][/img]
DD doesn't take it out of her epi belt. When kids asked about it (the first 2 weeks of school) she told them it was a shot and medicine in case she got really sick from eating pn or she changed the subject. I've seen her in action and was impressed with her social skills in this area.
DD now feels "scared" she says without the belt on.....this was my goal. I am ultimately responsible because she is just 4, but I want her to feel responsible for herself and to "own" her allergy.
I ask her opinion about if she should eat something. Bottom line is I'll make the decision, but we work through the reasons together.
All of these things make me feel good about her carrying the epi. I like knowing it's always with her at school.
Good luck.
mom to
Sara (7/02) allergic to pn, grass, trees
Julia (9/04) asthma and allergic to eggs? & nuts? (no testing, just reactions)

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