Epi-pen, when to use it?

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Hello, my son is 8 and is PA. Last night we were relaxing when my son ran downstairs holding his throat saying he couldn't breathe. He then started to vomit. He told me he ate a small piece of a Hershey Bar, not nut version. He has had some before and never had a problem. I wasn't sure if it was a reaction to peanuts or what. I gave him some benadryl, he felt better quickly. If he wasn't having a reaction to peanuts and I gave him the shot, would that hurt him? I was afraid to do anything. Help!!!!

On Jul 9, 2001

We had a little scare the other night too, but my daughter's allergist said when in doubt just give her the epi-pen and bring her in. He said it won't hurt her. She's two.

On Jul 9, 2001

I always thought I would be prepared. I was terrified. I didn't know what to do. Tyler was just as scared, he kept saying "what is happening to me". We had a long talk after he settled down. This has been a rough year for him. He started questioning his allergy. He is at that age where his friends are becoming more important and he does not want me interfering with his social life. After last night I think he came into reality and realizes how dangerous this allergy is.

On Jul 9, 2001

Hi. I just posted a new topic about taking my son to the allergist today, and I mentioned this very topic. I told my son's doctor about an incident we had last year where he had some of his sister's formula. He started gaggin, choking, hives...after about 5 or 10 minutes, he was fine, other than a few hives. The allergist said I should've given him the shot without hesitation. He said there's a 30 minute time-frame in which they should have the shot. He also told me that my son could've had a reaction up to 8 hours later and could've died!! He scared the heck out of me, but I think I needed to hear the severity of it! Hope your son is feeling better. Colleen

On Jul 9, 2001

I'm so glad your son is alright! My allergist said that he'd "never fault me" for giving an epipen -- even if it turned out that I didn't really need to. He said it wouldn't hurt my son -- but it is a stimulant and would make him more active. He also said that after giving an epi, always seek medical attention. He said that after 15 minutes you don't see improvement, give another injection.

I have to admit though -- I'm still scared about having to use it...I guess eventually I may have to, and I don't relish the thought. But I'm so glad your son is ok.

Katy

On Jul 9, 2001

Thanks for the words of wisdom. I did call my son's doctor, I spoke to a nurse, and she told me to call National Jewish's Lung Line. I called them, very busy, supposed to return my call. Tyler is doing fine. My mom sat down with him today and had a heart to heart talk about not eating anything without asking first. I have never been so scared and I am so thankful it turned out ok.

On Jul 9, 2001

Glad your son is doing well. It seems odd that giving them a needle won't hurt them if not necessary, but when you think about the alternative well it certainly seems like a better option. I thought of one thing after my last post. I don't give my daughter any chocolate. Mainly because of her age. I assumed it was all cross-contaminated. You said he ate Hersheys before and was fine. Does it say may contain nuts? Do you call the companies? Or is this his choice. I'm worried about her as she gets older. It must be tough for you him coming into his own a little bit. At least this reaction will force him to see severity of it though. Everyone I talk to says use the Epi! I'm terrified of it too. Hopefully you'll never have to make that choice again.

On Jul 10, 2001

I met a night nurse who had her first reaction while on duty. she said that she was given benedryl for hives and swelling on her face and had to return to her duties on the floor. she said she got worse and notified her supervisor. It was an hour before she was replaced by an e.r. nurse. by the time she went to the e.r. in the same hospital she was too late. the doctor said that he could not use the epi-pen but had to give her methotrexate by i.v. by this point she was breathing o.k. but she felt very hot all over and was throwing the blankets and moving around in the bed to become comfortable. she was there for most of the day. this was her first anapylactic reaction and it was to red die in a candy. I just wanted to bring this up to let you know that there is a med that can be used in the e.r. when the time has lapsed for the epi-pen. I have been told by my doctor to use the epi-pen immidiately and my child got better fast when i did use it.

On Jul 10, 2001

With regards to chocolate. He has had plain hershey bars before. There is no peanut warning or allergy warning at all on the wrapper. As far as other chocolate, he doesn't get any except if I make some sort of chocolate dessert or cookie. During a camping trip several years ago we were making smores. I opened a Hershey bar and found some almonds in them. I immediately threw the rest of the candy away and contacted Hershey on Monday. The apologized like crazy and guaranteed that the bars are made without any peanuts or other nuts and this was just problem. I never heard about any recalls but I stopped letting my son have any. As a kind gesture they sent me some free products and coupons in the mail, guess what, most of which were for the peanut variety products.

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