Can\'t believe school lost the epi-pen!!!!!!!

Posted on: Wed, 06/13/2001 - 8:37am
Cindia's picture
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Joined: 06/05/2001 - 09:00

I can't believe that my son's preschool lost his epi-pen! I filled out a special form and attached it to the pen. The director of his preschool assured me that it would be appropriate to put it on her cabinet in the office. Well, that was the FIRST DAY of school. Today, the LAST DAY I go to pick it up and it is not there. I asked the director about it and she said "Oh, are you sure you left one here?" "I don't remember anything about it. What does it look like?" At that point my insides just churned into a huge knot and I could not speak. I felt like throwing up. How long has it been missing? All along I had been feeling secure and then this. The day before yesterday the other mom with a PA son told me the director told her it was not necessary to leave her epi-pen since they had one already. (They don't, and if they did it was my son's)
I really don't know what to do about this. School is over now but I wonder about my responsibility for PA kids that come next year and after. It is a co-op preschool and I was a board member. Maybe I should talk to the new board about this. I don't know. Any ideas?
I guess next year for kindergarten I will have to have periodic checks to make sure the epi-pen is where it should be. I am so upset about this!

Posted on: Wed, 06/13/2001 - 9:13am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Wow! Well for starters, it seems highly inappropriate for the director to have a "generic" EpiPen, available to inject into anyone who needs it. An EpiPen is available by prescription, and should only be used on the person it is prescribed for. Plus, if there are 2 PA children, there should be 2 EpiPens - what if they both react at the same time?! Lots of inappropriate handling of this situation.
Secondly, the EpiPen should be stored in a spot where you can periodically check to be sure it's still there. Cayley's preschool has a high-up, chained medicine cabinet, but you can open the door (without unlocking it) just enough to check that everything is where it should be. I would have a FIT if I was in your place.
You should definitely speak to the board members about this, and outline a plan to prevent this from happening again. How can they lose a life-saving device like an EpiPen?! Keep us updated on anything you decide to do. Good for you, thinking about the PA kids who haven't even enrolled yet - you may save a life! Good luck!

Posted on: Wed, 06/13/2001 - 11:41pm
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

I am very sorry to hear that this happened, and I can understand why you are so upset. I agree with everything Cayley's mom said, too. I think it would be good to compose a letter (when you feel calm and collected enough to do so) outlining what happened and why this was so terribly inappropriate. You could also mention the positive aspects your son got from the school, just to balance it. I would make it clear, in the letter, that you are hoping to save another child from harm (or even death) by asking them to change their policies. I would send a copy of this letter to all board members and the director. Good luck! Miriam

Posted on: Thu, 06/14/2001 - 12:05am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I agree with the other posts. Losing the epi-pen is completely irresponsible! My PA son's is kept in the kitchen which is right next to his room. I check it periodically, and I also make the teachers get it for me periodically. (That way I can make sure that they know where it is.)
My daughter is six months old so they keep hers in her room. (She is severly allergic to milk; I haven't had her tested for peanuts yet.) I do the same with hers. I want to make sure that it is still good - that it doesn't get too hot or too cold, and I get paranoid about the expiration dates - even though I know what they are off the top of my head.
I would definitely have a talk with your daycare before next school season. I think that sharing epi-pens is also a legal issue since they are only available by perscription.

Posted on: Thu, 06/14/2001 - 12:54am
CVB in CA's picture
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Joined: 10/15/1999 - 09:00

I am a member of a coop preschool and I would feel really mad if this had happened to me.
I am surprised the teacher would treat the epi this way. I think it shows a real lack of understanding.
Yes, definitely go to the new board when you are a bit calmer. Present it as a storage of medication issue. Also, this is a prescription med. As far as I know all states have rules about where and how meds and other materials are kept in facilites where children are present, even in co-ops!
The epi-pen should be in a well marked container of some sort with emergency instructions and picture of your child attached.
In my coop we used a bright orange zippered pencil case with a clear window. This was put in the kitchen (which is actually in the classroom in this case) in a high cabinet with kid lock above the first aid stuff. It also had a bottle of benadryl with a spoon and the emergency instructions were in it. There was a picure of my son on it. I do have to say the teacher forgot where she had put it once and had to ask me where it was, but that was like the first day after it was there. I did have to sign an advance permission slip, which was copied and in the bag also.
I think it's kind of hazardous to lose track of an epi in a room or rooms full of children, even it it doesn't hurt them, you don't want them to be playing with it!

Posted on: Thu, 06/14/2001 - 12:57am
CVB in CA's picture
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Joined: 10/15/1999 - 09:00

I am a member of a coop preschool and I would feel really mad if this had happened to me.
I am surprised the teacher would treat the epi this way. I think it shows a real lack of understanding.
Yes, definitely go to the new board when you are a bit calmer. Present it as a storage of medication issue and with lots of stroking about whats best for kids and what a wonderful time your son had there.
Also, this is a prescription med. As far as I know all states have rules about where and how meds and other materials are kept in facilites where children are present, even in co-ops!
The epi-pen should be in a well marked container of some sort with emergency instructions and picture of your child attached.
In my coop we used a bright orange zippered pencil case with a clear window. This was put in the kitchen (which is actually in the classroom in this case) in a high cabinet with kid lock above the first aid stuff. It also had a bottle of benadryl with a spoon and the emergency instructions were in it. There was a picure of my son on it. I do have to say the teacher forgot where she had put it once and had to ask me where it was, but that was like the first day after it was there. I did have to sign an advance permission slip, which was copied and in the bag also.
I think it's kind of hazardous to lose track of an epi in a room or rooms full of children, even it it doesn't hurt them, you don't want them to be playing with it!

Posted on: Thu, 06/14/2001 - 2:34am
Joanne's picture
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Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

If this school is state-licensed I think that the state has guidelines about storage of medication, which they would seem to be violating.
This is a pretty shocking story.
I would definitely bring it up with the new board, because this is a very serious issue.

Posted on: Thu, 06/14/2001 - 12:04pm
PattyR's picture
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Joined: 04/12/2002 - 09:00

Your state should have an agency that governs daycares. This definitely warrants a complaint. Sometimes it takes an official complaint to wake people up and get them to understand. Your daycare is probably required to tell you the agency and their phone number.

Posted on: Thu, 06/14/2001 - 11:30pm
Heather's picture
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Joined: 10/08/2006 - 09:00

I think this is a lesson for all of us that we need to stay on top of these people - especially after Nathan's death. My son starts pre-school in September and I have the right to make a surprise visit whenever I want to and I plan to take full advantage of that right soooo add checking the school's epi pen to that list of things to check on that day. Also, the pharmacy usually puts the med. label on the EpiPen box, I was thinking when I get the pen for the school to have the pharmacy put the label right on the yellow tube. That way no one can mix it up with someone else's.

Posted on: Fri, 06/15/2001 - 12:01am
Claire's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

Cindia, I have been in your shoes with an epi pen getting lost at school. Christopher was going on a field trip and I wanted to make sure that he was well prepared. I know that at the time he was 13 and,but I wanted to be the adult and make sure my child was protected. I called the school they assured me that he was all set. I went took my shower feeling better that a person had his epi-pen and was shore of how to and when to use it. Well I get out of the shower and get a call that they could not find my epi-pen and they had sent someone elses with him. Then the nurse said to me"if he gets stung by a bee they will know what to do". OK now I am ticked off,because he has gone one hour away from home and they think he is allergic to bees not nuts. They want us to trust them with our kids and they can not even remember nut from bees. Christopher handled the incident very well. He said to me " mom i will just tell them i got stung by a bee and they will at least treat me right". Sad part is he knows more than them.
My doctor wrote them a letter about the ignorance,but still we don't have time for an adult to be absent minded. I wish you well. Claire

Posted on: Fri, 06/29/2001 - 4:56am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Here's that thread, Natalie!!
(Hope some of these ideas help)

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