DD\'s first time testing an EPI

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We had 4 expired EPI pens. DH and I planned on practicing with an orange.

I asked DD (7 years old) if she wanted to try or if she wanted to watch (first time for either) or if she wasn't ready for either. She wanted to try. She tested 2 of them and did an excellent job!

I am proud of her!

------------------ Keep Smiling DD - allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, and egg

On May 17, 2007

Purplecat, That's great!

I have a question of my own concerning this issue and hope you don't mind if I "borrow" your thread?

We have multiple expired epi's and I approached 10yrold dd with testing on an orange as well. She is often away from me now, at school or at a friends house, and I want her to be prepared.

She did not like the idea at all. You could tell she was really freaked out and almost in tears saying she did not want to. This is very different than her normal personality and her reaction took me by surprise. I told her it was important to practice because there quite possibly could come a situation where she may need to self inject. She said if she were actually having a reaction, she would have no problem using it but that she DID NOT want to practice on the orange.

I let it go for the night. I don't want to MAKE her do it but still think it is important she does, KWIM?

What would you do?

------------------ 10 yo dd- PA,TNA, tests pos to soy, CATS, many environmentals, Asthmatic 5 yo dd- NKA, avoiding nuts 3 yo dd- outgrown milk/soy, avoiding nuts

[This message has been edited by krc (edited May 17, 2007).]

On May 17, 2007

Funny - that is the reaction I expected from my DD! I was also surprised. No matter how well you know a kid just never know how he or she will react!

Would your DD watch you practice on the orange? - or has she already done that? If she did that, maybe the next time she would want to try too.

Curious what makes her not want to try if she is confident she can self administer.

When we test, we put the orange in a mug so it can not roll and our hands are completely out of the way. No chance of stabbing ourselves.

I don't really know what else to suggest. As our DD is 7, if she did not want to, I was going to drop it and offer again next year.

OK fellow PA Moms - any brilliant ideas???

On May 17, 2007

First time we practiced (with an expired real epi) with my DS, he saw the size of the needle and was shocked. We had practiced many time with a trainer. I think using the trainer on younger kids is a good idea. Same exact steps - and no freaky needle. Not a bad idea to save that for the real thing -- just depends on the child.

Have a blessed day, Bridget

On May 17, 2007


Originally posted by PurpleCat: [b] Curious what makes her not want to try if she is confident she can self administer. [/b]

Yes! That's exactly what I worry about. If she won't practice on an orange, would she really use it on herself if need be?

Good idea about the mug. I probably would have just tried to hold the orange steady and stuck my thumb!

On May 17, 2007

(edited)-- I understand what you are saying. I have wondered if actually seeing the needle will make her more frightened to use but I am a planner and want her to be fully prepared.

We've practiced with the trainer multiple times but really would like for her to actually feel the amount of pressure needed etc...

Seeing what her reaction was to even the suggestion of practicing has me a bit worried about how she would react if she were in a situation where she needed it.

On May 17, 2007

Dd has been practicing on an orange since the age of 8. She is 12 now. I have always been very matter of fact about things. I pretty much conveyed it as this is no big deal (because it isn`t), it hurts for a few seconds and then it is over. I believe kids pick up on the cues the parents give them. I have always taught her not to be afraid of needles, and make an effort to always bring her if I need a blood test or when I get my yearly flu shot. Even though it is easier to do it when she is in school, I almost always do it after school so she can come. I act like it is no big deal, because really it is just so quick.

On May 17, 2007

Carefulmom- I agree with you. We are also very matter of fact about needles here. I worked in a ped's office for years giving immunizations and so forth so I realize how important my approach would be. That's another reason I am so puzzled by dd's reaction.

I'm wondering if I should approach her again or allow her to watch me or just let this go for now??

Like I said, my biggest concern is how she would react if she were in a situation where she needed to self inject.

On May 18, 2007

FYI,as I just posted in another thread, we practiced the Epipen and Twinject together and the needle on the Twinject is a smaller gage than the Epipen.

On May 18, 2007

This will not work for most of you, but this was helpful for us. We also practice on grapefruit.

When I had an ana reaction to shellfish, I probably should have administered at work--didn't. Drove home an hour after a few hours of giving benadryl (don't tell me how stupid--I don't remembe being sleepy, though).

At my first recognizable second symptom (okay--nausea should have been teh recognizable second symptom and spaciness, but i didn't see tem as separate, KWIM?), I did administer. I had GI stuff 2 hours after ingestion and treated wtih benadryl, and then once in my community I experienced chest tightness (I was next to the hospital when this happened). DS and DH were nearby and on their way to be with me.

I let DS watch me inject. He counted to 15 and then rubbed my leg at the injection site. I was lucky I could let him do this. I wasn't going to wait any longer, so it was good he was there. But it was very helpful he could see that it was no big deal for me. He could also see how fast it went to work.

We still practice on grapefruit, but he has this very real life experience, and he does know that there may be a time when he has to use the epi on me (with my reactions, I am worried I may lose consciousness).

On May 18, 2007

Krc, I think you should try to find out why she is freaked out about it. There must be some reason, because if you worked in a peds office, this is all normal to you, so it does seem like she would not be freaked out. Have you asked her why she does not want to practice?

For dd it came up at age 8 when she wanted to go to a sleepover and I told her if she would learn to use an epi she could go. I showed the mom, but it was not a mom who had watched dd before. Anyhow, dd was a pro at it, as she was very motivated. Turned out the mom was having her boyfriend stay also, so I did not allow dd to stay because of that. She was so upset. Anyhow, that is how dd learned and she has been practicing on an orange ever since. We do it maybe 2 or 3 times a year, when something is coming up. Two weeks ago I went out of town and a friend`s mom watched her. I showed the friend`s mom the epi, but she had never watched dd, so I wanted dd to practice also. Dd was fine with it. Things like this come up and I have her practice.

[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited May 18, 2007).]

On May 19, 2007

My son was always freaked out by needles. Of course, he was always freaked out by everything. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img]

Whenever I had expired epi-pens I offered to let him inject into a fruit -- and he would not do it. If I tried to talk him into it, he would get extremely upset. In fact, it was quite a chore to get him to try the trainer (that experience is already posted on this board). Anyway, after a few years of using the trainer -- and correcting someone who did it wrong with a trainer -- he was finally ready to try the real thing. But, it was with his dad, not me. Not sure why -- but at least he did it. He's just turned nine, so I don't expect him to self-administer at this point, but I want him comfortable with it.

On May 20, 2007

8 y.o. DS wants nothing to with it. I had some expired epi-pens a month or so ago. We practiced with the trainer, but he was even nervous about that. But he started to flip out when I offered to let him jab the orange. I did it and he watched, but he was still very nervous about that. I think in a few more months we will try again, and if he still really doesn't want to, I'll let DD do it.

------------------ [url="http://www.the3day.org/boston07/deedaigle"]http://www.the3day.org/boston07/deedaigle[/url]

On May 20, 2007

DD has helped me train some of her teachers in the past with the trainer and grandparents with a orange. So she feels sort of expert, but the question is how and when to give it (but we adults struggle with that to!)

I actually thought that the Twin Jet instructions would be easier for one not trained previously to be easier to use for the first injection. They have color coded the caps with brighter colors that realted to the instructions. And the needle and unit is thinner.

Not trying to do a commercial, we still have Epis, but may switch out as they expire.

On May 20, 2007


Sorry my previous post really didn't answer your question. Maybe if she practices with a trainer and then the real one she would feel better?

I do recall that the first few times we made it fun (I did an "orange voice -oh I ate XXX and I don't feel well etc...")Now it is just like OK this is Epi is expired, show me.

Unfortunatly I can't believe that a child who will not practice in fruit would be able and willing to self inject if it was needed. JMHO.

On May 20, 2007

We had two expired pens so I asked my 5 1/2 yo if he'd like to try using one. He was all for it so I showed him using one and he tried the other one. He was pretty upset afterwards. He had no idea how much of a jolt there would be and the needle did freak him out. He has known all along there's a needle in the pen but actually using it-- feeling it (not the needle but the jolt if you will) and seeing the needle he really did get pretty freaked out.

------------------ Tracy Mom to Reece (9/5/01) Severe Peanut and Tree Nut allergies, Asthma and Reflux McKinley (9/7/99) No Allergies

On May 21, 2007

Tracy, I agree there is a definite difference between a trainer and the real thing. I'm glad I did try an expired epi-pen myself because if I was using it in an emergency, that jolt in my hand might have freaked me. It's part of why I wanted my son to try it.

Even my older son who gives epinephrine the way a doctor does (with a needle that he fills from a bottle) tried the epi-pen. He teaches first-aid, and said he now lets people know the difference between the two -- and advises people with allergies to practice with expired ones.

On May 21, 2007

I felt the same way about my DD needing to experience the "jolt". It took me by surprise the first time I practiced and I wanted to take that element of surprise out of it. I did warn her before she tried that it would feel a bit like a "stapler" and that it needed to be this way so it would go through clothing, etc... and she handled it well.