Epi Pen Storage/School wants to use lock

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My PA 5 year old daughter just started kindergarten. The kindegarten is a good 10-15 minute walk from the nurses office. In the past the school has kept Epi Pens in the class locked in a metal box. When the students leave the classroom the teacher carries the epi pens in a fannie pack that is locked with a pad lock that requires a key. The teacher would carry the key around her neck. Locking the epi pen makes me nervous. Is this standard? Does anyone have alternative suggestion.

They also do not want me to send a note to the parents talking about my daughter's allergy and why she can not eat homemade treats so we provide her a bag of fun safe treats.

Thank you, Worried Mom.

On Sep 12, 2005

Well, my opinion is that a lock is a bad idea. Keys get lost, misplaced, etc... Our mailbox lock jams regualrly and we need to spray it with lubricant and relace it on occasion! Geesh. I would hate to imagine folks fumbling with locks or trying to find the key in a crisis like anaphylaxis. But my opinion is not going to help you. Does FAAN take a pisition on this? How about your Doctors?

Our pens are in dd's backpack on the bus, and in the nurses's office at school. The back pack ones just stay in her pack in her cubby. The teacher has an anaphylactic allergy herself and simply wants to know where they are and to be able to get them quick. Her own hangs in a bag on a peg near the door to outside. She has to grab it when they go ut(bee stungs is her allergy).

That is how we do it. becca

On Sep 12, 2005

Insist on no lock. INSIST on NO lock. INSIST ON NO LOCK.

No way!

On Sep 12, 2005

I'm trying to remember a product I read about on these boards. It was a box or a bag that could be locked so kids couldn't get into it causally, but if there was an emergency an adult could break it open. Does that ring any bells? I'm not even sure what to search on.

That could be a possible compromise. Otherwise, I agree with everyone else - no locks.

On Sep 12, 2005

The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology states on page four of a position statement (Anaphylaxis in schools and other child-care settings) that Epipens are to be kept in "locations that are easily accessible and not in locked cupboards or drawers" -- I know the link is somewhere on these boards, but try this -- (copy & paste)

[url="http://www.aaaai.org/media/resources/academy_statements/position_statements/ps34.asp"]www.aaaai.org/media/resources/academy_statements/position_statements/ps34.asp[/url]

On Sep 12, 2005

Okay -- well you don't have to copy&paste- the link works, and I guess it is only page 4 if you print it out -- the statement is close to the bottem. I would fight tooth and nail to keep that Epipen from being locked up -- I can honestly say that if I knew my childs medical kit (Benedryl and Epipen) were locked up, he wouldn't be going to school until they changed their policy. I've always wondered what a lawyer's take on this matter would be, liability & all that.

On Sep 12, 2005

Greenlady,

Are you thinking of Saftey Sack? [url="http://www.safetysack.com"]http://www.safetysack.com[/url]

It is a child resistant zipper bag made of very tough plastic. It comes with an emergency plan card to fill out.

------------------ Mom to 6 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 2 1/2 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

On Sep 12, 2005

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

Stand up for your child's right.

This is the only thing that could save her life if she ever goes into anaphylactic shock.

How long do they think a person can have their airway cut off for?

Seeing the epipen on a person also reminds others that there is a fatal allergy.

As for the letter????? Sounds like you have a battle on your hands. Sorry about that. Nothing like fighting with the person who you've entrusted with your child.

I would push for it too. Maybe not quite a detailed letter, but at least an intro to what anyphylaxis is.

My dd, and every other PA child in her school, has worn their own epis in a wasit belt right from kindergarten up, and there has NEVER been an incident.

[This message has been edited by d's mom (edited September 12, 2005).]

On Sep 12, 2005

Hmmm... they can't tell you where you can or can't send a note. They do not own 1. the US mail 2. you 3. your rights to free expression

Exactly what is their recourse if you do send a letter out...are they going to send you to detention? They aren't a policing body... they have NO POWER over that.

There are ways for you to find the parents' names and addresses without them, too...

I would send whatever note I chose and ignore them completely.

On Sep 12, 2005

I noticed that you are from Virgina. There is a ton of information on the Virginia Department of Education website (once you get to the website, do a search for "medication") including a medication administration manual which states:

"Storage of Medications. A two-week supply or less of medications (unless medication is taken on a daily basis throughout the school year) should be kept in an appropriately labeled container which is locked and secured in a designated space (e.g., a locked box stored within a locked cabinet). Access to keys for the storage space in which medication is kept should be limited to the school nurse, the principal, and authorized staff. A listing of authorized staff should be maintained by the principal and updated routinely. Keys to the medication storage area should never leave the school grounds. Arrangements need to be made for medications requiring refrigeration. The school nurse or principal should establish a date when any unused medication should be picked up by parents. "

There's a ton of information on that website. I didn't look through much of it, but what I saw was very interesting. I'd bet you'll be able to find something helpful.

Here's another great source for you in Virginia... a letter from the Virginia Dept of Education to all superintendents in the state regarding developing a plan for the management of food allergies: [url="http://www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/suptsmemos/2002/inf170.html"]http://www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/suptsmemos/2002/inf170.html[/url]

It is simply unacceptable to keep epi locked at school.

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited September 12, 2005).]

On Sep 12, 2005

You know I kept thinking about your post - if they give you a fight with this, including not letting you send a letter about your child's allergy, I'd go for a 504 and check out what the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has to say. This is your childs life -- check out the threads with regards to a 504. We are working on this with my son's school right now; our food allergic children do have rights, and the school has responsibilities with regards to them.

On Sep 12, 2005

The teacher goes out of the room with a locked fanny pack and the key around her neck??? If I understood that right it makes no sense. I assume that are not worried about kids grabbing things out of the teacher's fanny pack (and if it is they have more discipline issues then I care to think about). And they aren't worried about the teachers accessing the meds - since she has the key.

Don't get that at all.

I can only assume that the locked box in the room is to prevent kids or out of school hour burglars from accesss to the drugs. The first could be solved be the height and storage space for the box. The second, IMHO, is not a danger for the Epi Pen, but that might be a policy??? But still I would think that there could be an after school plan for the med box that could be worked out. DD does not have meds in the room, but in the nurses office where the cabinet is locked at night when aftercare is over.

On Sep 12, 2005

You might also want to take a look at the FAAN site, specifically this section called "School Guidelines for Managing Students with Food Allergies". The document can be viewed at [url="http://www.foodallergy.org/school/SchoolGuidelines.pdf"]http://www.foodallergy.org/school/SchoolGuidelines.pdf[/url] Good Luck! ~Jodi

On Sep 13, 2005

I started a thread on this question last year on the Main Board. I got some interesting answers. I just re-raised the thread for you.

On Sep 1, 2007

bumping for any more current advice on how to convince the school to NOT LOCK the epinephrine!! the school is not convinced by the AAAI position paper recommending unlocked cabinets- their answer is that this is their policy district-wide, there has never been a problem, the nurse would access it in seconds, etc...

On Sep 1, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by x-contaminated: [b]bumping for any more current advice on how to convince the school to NOT LOCK the epinephrine!! the school is not convinced by the AAAI position paper recommending unlocked cabinets- their answer is that this is their policy district-wide, there has never been a problem, the nurse would access it in seconds, etc... [/b]

Is your school going to be locking all inhalers as well? How about insulin?

Are they willing to sign a statement that it is *their* decision to lock emergency medications against the parent's wishes, against medical advice (hopefully your allergist's), and against the stated position of the AAAAI? What a huge liability they are creating for themselves (and I might just mention that fact as well [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]).

Sorry I can't be of more help....

On Sep 1, 2007

I would draw up a letter that outlines just that. And demand that it be signed by the principal, your child's teacher, and the district superintendent BEFORE YOU WILL ALLOW YOUR CHILD TO RETURN TO CLASS.

(It [i]may[/i] not hold any legal weight if push comes to shove..... but it should at least make them think long and hard about the personal liability they are assuming by making a decision for a student which is against MEDICAL ADVICE.

Epinephrine on my daughter's person is one of only three or four things in her life which are NOT NEGOTIABLE. EVER.

On Sep 3, 2007

I doubt the school will sign something to that effect but I will try. Unfortunately the allergist will NOT write anything for me stating that the epinephrine must be unlocked and accessible. (and this is our new allergist that I changed to in order to see someone who was Board Certified in Food Allergy, ugh)

The school had previously agreed last Spring for my DS to wear his Epi-Belt at all times but now they have gone back on that. They would never give me that in writing either and now I see why.

Before I had insisted on the Epi-belt and now I can't even get them to keep the Epi-Pens unlocked. I feel like I am failing as my son's advocate.

On Sep 3, 2007

You have to go to them with documentation.

Use the AAAI statement, FAAN statement both with your ALLERGIST and the SCHOOL. Is your board-certified allergist really going to go against the advice of AAAI? I doubt it if he sees in writing from AAAI.

Also pull the letter to Superintendents in VA (that was your state right) about school policies and check status with Dept of Education (for instance in NJ they are drafting guidelines for schools similar to what MA and CT did..very detailed guidelines that do address the LOCK issue).

Also print these documents: google "Mananging Life Threatening Food Allergies in Schools" CT and same for MA

You need to write a firm letter that Epipen be kept in 1) UNLOCKED nurse cabinet and 2) CLASSROOM (if you trust the teacher), and/or 3) backpack/selfcarry and school is UNSAFE for your child any other way.

You also may want to quote about delays in finding/using Epipen have resulted in DEATHS in schools. Cite examples.

My experience to date has been a well written, well backed up letter with professional citatins will quickly result in proper action. Imply or use the word anything else would be "negligent" (though that word will get them to turn it right to their lawyer which could be good or bad).

On Sep 3, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by x-contaminated: [b]bumping for any more current advice on how to convince the school to NOT LOCK the epinephrine!! the school is not convinced by the AAAI position paper recommending unlocked cabinets- their answer is that this is their policy district-wide, there has never been a problem, the nurse would access it in seconds, etc... [/b]

And what if the nurse is out on a sick day?

This is going against standard procedure for Epipens.

On Sep 3, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by lilpig99: [b] Is your school going to be locking all inhalers as well? How about insulin?

Are they willing to sign a statement that it is *their* decision to lock emergency medications against the parent's wishes, against medical advice (hopefully your allergist's), and against the stated position of the AAAAI? What a huge liability they are creating for themselves (and I might just mention that fact as well [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]).

Sorry I can't be of more help....[/b]

Yep, put this quote from lillipeg right in your letter...are you willing to sign a statement saying xxxx against the advice of the AAAI? blah blah negligent blah blah standard duty of care blah blah other schools blah blah my child is not safe at school ...

You CAN convince them...put it in writing.

On Sep 3, 2007

I'm 16 and in primary school I had a TA with me who carried them. In secondary years 7-10 they wouldn't let me carry any of them (kept them under lock and key!!!!!!!!!!! eeek!) In year 10 I kept one on me. Now I have permission to keep both on me.

On Sep 19, 2007

I know in New Jersey it is in the new law passed 3/07 that epipens can not be locked up when the child is in school. There also has to be designated trained people (teachers) in the building when the nurse is out. But the epi must be unlocked and easily accesible.

On Sep 19, 2007

I also was very frustrated with school locking epi pens in a cabinet. BUT, regardless of what FAAN says, regardless of what seems illogical, some state laws REQUIRE them to be locked. Our old NJ law clearly stated that medications should be in a secure locked location. They just amended the law so that epi pens are an exception.

What I did to avoid a keystone kops day with not being able to access the nurse's office or her cabinet is that the main office has several copies of her door key and the cabinet key. The main office is less than 10 feet from the nurse's office.

On Sep 19, 2007

If they insist on keeping them in a locked fanny pack, insist that the teacher carry a pair of scissors as well as the key... that way the fanny pack can be cut open if the lock is too cumbersome.

------------------ Cheryl, mom to Jason (10 MFA including peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, coconut, sesame, squid) Joey (8 NKA) Allison (4 milk allergic, suspect shellfish, avoiding PN/TN for now) Ryan (1) nka *knock on wood*

On Sep 20, 2007

Or, do what my mum did and walked into school, got them and stuck them in my bag :P

On Sep 20, 2007

k9ruby - Or, do what my mum did and walked into school, got them and stuck them in my bag

THAT'S SO FUNNY......I think it's GREAT! Tell her she's my hero!

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