carrying their own epi-pen

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At what age did your kiddos start carrying their own epipen? My DS is PA, TNA, and Melon. He is 6 yrs old and in 1st grade. I know he will start going to more friend's homes soon and I ordered him a pack to carry his epipen and inhaler. I'm going to start having him wear it when we go out to eat or go out together so that he can get used to it. He's not without me much yet, but I know the day is coming soon.

TIA!

On Aug 28, 2008

Hi There

Every kid is different. My DS is almost 8 and he is not ready for that responsability. No way. My thought is that he needs to be able to use it on himself if he is going to carry it. or explain to someone else how to do it. DS school won't let them carry it on them until they are in 6 th grade Middle school). I have yet to leave DS with anyone other than family.

On Aug 28, 2008

Dd started in 4th grade at age 9 1/2. By that age, she knew how to self administer. I see carrying their own epi similar to letting them cross the street alone. Yes, some day they will cross the street alone....but to me it doesn`t make sense to have them cross the street alone when they are too young, just because some day they will have to do it. I don`t see any point in having them carry it at age 6, since an adult will always be with him and he can`t self administer.

On Aug 28, 2008

maybe I didn't make myself clear ... at this point I'm only wanting him to carry it so that he can get used to the way it feels and to start with a little of the responsibility. I'm only going to ask him to carry it when we go out to eat and such while we are with him (and I wont force the issue if he doesn't want to). By no means am I ready for him to carry it all the time. I KNOW he's not ready for that either. I was just wondering when others DID start carrying it. My DS doesn't like quick changes and I thought this would be a good way to start with baby steps and let the change happen over time and not just all the sudden one day say "ok you are old enough ... here ya go". I hope that makes sense.

On Aug 28, 2008

My son is too young to carry his epipen, but in our town, they allow them to carry their own epipen in middle school.

On Aug 31, 2008

Allergist said no when school asked if he could self-carry. Don't know what the laws are here about self-carry. My ds is very mature at age 8, but I know of adults that haven't been able to administer it themselves because they were too far gone (into anaphylaxis). There's also the peer pressure (worrying what others may think, being self-conscious, embarrassed- common problems with teens and epis/allergic reactions-- but this is the age those social fears start. Whatsmore, he is extremely afraid of needles and doesn't even know this is what the Epi is- a needle injection (I don't want him running from or struggling with someone trying to administer it if needed). Also, a big one for us is that if administered incorrectly, such as in the inside of the leg where the artery is, it could go right into his blood stream and go right to his heart, killing him instantly.

I would be afraid that letting him carry it around might give him the idea that it is okay for him to mess with it, check it out, play with it or show friends and this could have disasterous results. I am not sure what age we would give him this responsibility or let him carry it around, but it wouldn't be for a long time- teen years- I imagine. Don't want to think about it.

On Aug 31, 2008

My ds has been carrying it with him since kindergarten. I would [b]never [/b]let him on the bus without one! He has always been careful, we have never had an issue. He has always had the allergy (since HE can remember) so he has never been [i]without[/i] an Epipen. Really, it is completely natural for him. Good luck.

On Aug 31, 2008

lvycosmo- I don't blame you wanting the Epi with your child on the bus. Was the bus driver willing to give your son the Epi in case of a reaction?

On Aug 31, 2008

my son is 7 and began carrying his epi in the middle of last year. although he knows how it works, i don't know if he could self administer in a reaction. but all of the staff and monitors at his school know how.

i would rather he carry it on his person and have it right there in case of a reaction, then up in the cupboard in the office.

my son doesn't play with the bag and that was important to me before i let him wear it. he knows it is not a toy and to not play with it or let other kids play with it.

On Sep 1, 2008

Yes, we had a meeting with the bus company and the drivers were all trained. They also got together with the fire dept. and had an Epipen jr. ready in case he had a reaction.

On Sep 1, 2008

Replying to: "that if administered incorrectly, such as in the inside of the leg where the artery is, it could go right into his blood stream and go right to his heart, killing him instantly."

Hmmm...the epi is supposed to go into the blood stream---that`s how it works! It goes from the muscle in the leg, into the blood, then to the heart, lungs, etc. That`s the purpose of it! Not sure where you heard that if it goes to his heart it will kill him instantly, but that is definitely not true! If he injects his femoral artery in his groin accidentally, he would start bleeding profusely, but even that wouldn`t "kill him instantly". And it`s pretty hard to inject into your femoral artery. Sorry, but people rely on this board for getting correct information, so I had to say something.

On Sep 2, 2008

My son started carrying his when he was 5 (he's eight now). There is no way I would expect him to self inject right now, but I wanted him to get in the habit of always having it with him before he left house (I felt the earlier in life he learned this habit the better). Its part of his routine now - he straps it on when he gets dressed even if we aren't going anywhere.

On Sep 4, 2008

Check out an Epi-Pen Belt. It has really saved us. My son started wearing it at age 6. Our problem was everytime we went out as a family my husband would take him to the bathroom or on a ride at the amusment park and I had it in my purse. One time I ran into a store to return something and left the family in the car while they ate lunch. I had it in my purse. Thankfully nothing happened. We hung a nail by the front door, and we have a bag that the belt goes into. Everytime we leave the house our son has to put the belt on. It was not for him to use it, just to have it on him. Now he is 10 and just started middle school, and has to be responsible for it, not the nurse. It is so great that he just puts it on without even thinking.

On Sep 4, 2008

I started letting my daughter carry her epipen in 1st grade. By "carry," I mean permanently keeping one in her backback and telling her she was responsbile for bringing it with her wherevere she went. Even though she was "responsible" for the epipen, there were plenty of extras around where she needed it (extra in the classroom, the nurse's office, our house) and the supervising adult was always there to remind her when she forgot. In my eyes, this was practice for having the responsibility, but she really never did have the sole responsibility. If she ever went on a playdate, it was only after I felt comfortable and showed the parent in the house how to administer the epipen (only a handful of homes she went to--all other playdates were at our house), and she always brought her own snack. She's now in third grade, and although I still have some doubts that she will always remember to bring it, she has a routine in place. Just started school yesterday and the new teacher knew all about the plan. They hang a small red medicine bag by the door of the classroom, and my daughter takes it with her when she leaves the room. She has another in her backback for when she leaves the building. She has observed me giving instructions on how to use it many times, but I think she is too young to assume that responsibility for herself and at this age she is still always under adult supervision. So far this has worked well for us.

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