Carrying an Epipen at an early age - how dangerous is an accidental Epipen stick?

Posted on: Sat, 12/28/2002 - 1:55pm
Elizasmom's picture
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Joined: 09/07/2002 - 09:00

I read another post about the age at which children start wearing their own Epipen in a pouch. Some people started their kids at age 5 or 6. I was surprised at this because I thought I had read that an accidental stick to a hand or foot or into a vein could be extremely dangerous. I even read something about a child losing their hand because of this - I hope it was an urban myth! What are the risks? I would love to know it was on her at all times.

Posted on: Sat, 12/28/2002 - 2:34pm
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

When dd was in kindergarten, one of the other pa kids was found passed out. The teacher used the Epipen, but because this was in June and she had been trained nine months before, she forgot where to inject and injected the child in the arm. When the paramedics arrived, they told her she could have killed the child. That is one of the reasons my dd doesn`t carry hers, although there are four Epis in her school, so she is never far from one. The other reason is that if another child messes with it, it can become damaged and fail to fire when needed. There was a mother on these boards who kept her Epi in her purse without the plastic tube. When her child had a reaction it didn`t work. That happened to her twice, then someone else on these boards figured out why. Just being jostled in her purse was enough to damage it to the point where it wouldn`t fire correctly.

Posted on: Sat, 12/28/2002 - 4:43pm
CVRTBB's picture
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Joined: 11/23/2001 - 09:00

My son has been carrying his epi pen in a shot case (found at [url="http://www.allergypack.com/english/page2.html"]http://www.allergypack.com/english/page2.html[/url] ) since he was in kindergarten. (He is in first grade now.) Never have we had a problem with other children messing with it at school. We have taught him that he is never to open it to show another child, and he never has. He was taught to tell the curious child that it is a shot that he must carry because of his allergies, in case he has a reaction. All of the children so far have been satisfied with his answer and the explanation that he is not allowed to show it to anyone. He does go to a private school, but I don't think that would make much of a difference.
As far as a child getting hold of it and shooting themselves with it, we did have this happen [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] My oldest son who was about 3 at the time climbed up on my washing machine to the shelf over top of it and got ahold of an epi pen (I was at the grocery store and dh was "watching" [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] the kids). He stuck himself in the finger but luckily it went clear through and the medicine shot out the other side. It scared all of the kids sooooo bad that we have never had a problem with one of them touching them since. My dh called the poisen control center and they said that since the needle went clear through his finger and none of the adreniline (sp?) went into his body that he would be fine, but that if it had gone into his finger he probably would have lost his finger.
Hope this helps,
Valerie

Posted on: Sun, 12/29/2002 - 12:27am
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Whew, scary story! I am not worried about dd messing with it; it is the 700 other kids in her school I am worried about. When the teacher injected another pa child in the arm, the paramedics said she just missed an artery, and that is why the other child could have died.

Posted on: Sun, 12/29/2002 - 3:59am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

My son carries his and is in Kindergarten. He always wears big shirts to conceal his epipen/epibelt, but has been asked twice by other kids, "What is that?" if his shirt slides above his belt. We have repeatedly told him that, although this is lifesaving medication, it can be extremely harmful to himself and other people if used the wrong way. My kids know that to inject it into a finger, well, they could lose a finger. This is nothing to play with or mess around with. It should never be taken out unless there a reaction is suspected.
So far so good.

Posted on: Sun, 12/29/2002 - 4:22am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Jesse has been carrying his Epi-pen in either a fanny pack or Epi-belt since he was 3-3/4 years old (it was a requirement of the school's and I also strongly believe that if it is made part and parcel of the child at a young age, they adapt to it better and hopefully won't rip it off as teenagers).
So, he's been wearing it to school (and now elsewhere) for over 3 years. We have NEVER had a problem with the Epi-pen coming out of it's case or coming out of the fanny pack or Epi-belt. Other children have been educated so that they're not interested in seeing it on Jesse in particular and it's just never been a worry.
We did have problems with the Epi-pen tube getting crushed in the fanny pack and that's why we switched to the Epi-belt. But, even then, with the crushed tube, no problems whatsoever. Hope this helps.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Sun, 12/29/2002 - 10:49am
Elizasmom's picture
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Joined: 09/07/2002 - 09:00

Thanks for your responses. It does seem a little scary to have a 5 year old (or even younger) carrying around something that could be to dangerous if they played with it. How can a child that young really understand or not be overcome by curiosity. Someone should make a case with a child-proof cap on it like medicine bottles have (I realize that raises it's own issues though).

Posted on: Sun, 12/29/2002 - 11:09am
cynde's picture
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Joined: 12/10/2002 - 09:00

My son has been wearing his epi-pen in an epi belt since he started grade 1, in Kindergarten they did not go out on the play ground with the other students so that was not a concern. He tells other kids what is is if they ask, and he does not take it out ever. I would not want a child proof closure on the epi-belt because I have now instructed him to inject himself for his next reaction he knows better than anyone else how he feels (he is 8 years old). I just don't want him wasting time trying to find an adult and convincing them to inject him. His last reaction was so quick he won't have time, plus he should not be running around. We have discussed this with our doctors, and the school staff and practised a lot.
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Cynde

Posted on: Sun, 12/29/2002 - 11:56am
darthcleo's picture
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Joined: 11/08/2000 - 09:00

The epipen can become damaged from being carried in a purse? that's where I keep my son's, all the time. Yes, it stays in the tube, but it does get jostled around quite a bit...

Posted on: Sun, 12/29/2002 - 3:05pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

darthcleo, mine has also been jostled in my purse for the past 5 years. I'm shocked. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img]
Elizasmom, I'm not clear how we did it with Jesse but he just realized that he needed to wear his Epi-belt and that it had his medication in it should he have a reaction. He has never refused to wear it and he has never played around with it and my soul, he looked so wee when he first started wearing it. We just never had that problem with Jess man.
I can see, if it was Ember, my daughter, with her very different personality, how she might be curious or I can actually see her refusing to wear it.
Jesse has always somehow just implicitly understood the importance of the Epi-belt, Epi-pen and that no one is allowed to touch it on his body. When I'm getting him ready for school, I will often place the belt under whatever shirt he's wearing, but when he gets dressed, it's just right there over his shirt. He certainly doesn't feel uncomfortable with it.
I can't remember my thought process at the time that the school TOLD me he had to wear his Epi-pen at 3-3/4 years old. I probably ended up posting about it here [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img]
I highly recommend a visit to the No Nuts for Me website where your daughter can see another child wearing one and also wearing a MedicAlert bracelet, if you haven't already been there. Even if you have the book, the computer monitor (and then the game they can play) seems to catch their eye more. (edited by the office; old url removed as that web site address is no longer used or owned by the book company that published the no nuts for me book. The book company's web site on 01/08/2007 [url="http://www.tumblebooks.com"]http://www.tumblebooks.com[/url] )
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Sun, 12/29/2002 - 3:32pm
CVRTBB's picture
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Joined: 11/23/2001 - 09:00

Cindy,
My children also loved the "No Nuts For Me" website, but it is no longer there [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] My children (and Mommy) were so sad when we found it gone!
Just thought I'd let you know.
Valerie

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