epipen at school

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 7:04am
leahliam's picture
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Joined: 04/18/2007 - 09:00

My son has carried an epipen in a fanny pack since he has started school 2 & 1/2 years ago. He is now in 2nd grade and I received a phone call from the school nurse saying that they feel it is unsafe and he cannot carry it anymore. They have contacted my doctor and said that they will not be responsible for the one that he carries he can only have one in the nurse's office. I am having a hard time with the idea of sending him to school without his epipen on him. We have drilled him over and over that he must have it on him at all times and how to be responsible for it. Has any one had a problem like this and what did you do about it? Thanks!

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Leah J. Welch

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 7:13am
Gail W's picture
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I see you are in New York and there is currently legislation pending on the right to carry: [url="http://www.aanma.org/cityhall/ch_childrights.htm"]http://www.aanma.org/cityhall/ch_childrights.htm[/url] Currently your state does not have a law that gives your child the right to carry his epi, but that may change soon.
Your son is in second grade and has demonstrated that he is capable of carrying his epi, so why the change now? Did something happen?
Your allergist can write a letter saying that your son needs to have his epi with him at all times. It's the AAAAI 's position that anyone who is anaphylactic must have immediate access to epi and to an adult trained to use the epi:
[url="http://www.aaaai.org/media/resources/academy_statements/position_statements/ps34.asp"]http://www.aaaai.org/media/resources/academy_statements/position_statements/ps34.asp[/url]
[i]"...Epinephrine should be kept in locations that are easily accessible and not in locked cupboards or drawers. All staff members should know these locations. [b]Children old enough to self-administer epinephrine should carry their own kits. For younger children, the epinephrine device should be kept in the classroom and passed from teacher to teacher as the child moves through the school (eg, from classroom to music to PE to lunch).[/b]
All students, regardless of whether they are capable of epinephrine self-administration, will still require the help of others because the severity of the reaction may hamper their attempts to inject themselves. Adult supervision is mandatory...."[/i]
(bold by me)
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited April 18, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 9:13am
saknjmom's picture
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Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

Hi, here in NJ students are allowed to carry epi and inhalers. each district has adapted the law in different ways.
I tried to make it so DS could carry because otherwise the meds were locked in the nurse's office.
His doctor was not in favor of a 5 year old carrying around an epi pen. He will not approve it until 4th grade for my son. He felt that the risk of him losing it, someone playing with it etc outweighed the risk of it being locked in the nurse's cabinet.
NJ just amended the laws so that the epi pen can travel with the student and it will no longer be mandatory that it is locked with other meds.
On FAAN website there is information about self carrying, I believe. I just saw something about NY, CT changing their laws. Take a look.

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 10:22am
leahliam's picture
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Joined: 04/18/2007 - 09:00

The school nurse told me that state regulators came to the school and looked through her paperwork and noticed that my son did not have permission to carry it only that he had permission to have it locked in her cabinet. This was noticed after he's been carrying it for 2 & 1/2 years. The school nurse than called my son's doctor and told her that she would have to give written permission but that my son would be 100% responsible for it and that the teachers and staff were not able to touch it. My son's doctor told me that she did not feel good about writing permission for it knowing that my son is the one who is responsible for it. I have contacted a different doctor and we are visiting him tomorrow and I am hoping that he will give written permission. I guess that I am just tired of everyone being so worried about being held responsible and that they are all out to cover their own selves rather than worry about the health and safety of my son.
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Leah J. Welch

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 9:47pm
saknjmom's picture
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Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

I was also uncomfortable having the epi locked in the nurse's office. There was no getting around it for us based on the laws at the time and the input from our allergist (who i highly respect). She is a full time nurse, our school is very small, there are intercoms in every classroom to call the nurse in emerg. There are two other keys to her office and to the cabinet one in principal's office and also in the main office.
My son's classrooms for the past 3 years have gotten farther from the nurse though. Next year, he is going to be downstairs. We have new laws about locking epi in cabinet and the epi pen should be in his classroom for next school year based on these new policies. If not, I feel that he will be old enough to self carry.

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 11:59pm
theresaa's picture
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Joined: 09/04/2003 - 09:00

My son will start school this year and the school nurse says the same thing, that the epipen is kept locked in her office. I asked her about when she is not in her office and they need the epipen and all she said was she was in the office over 90% of the time and i also asked about when she is off and she really didn't give me a straight answer on that either. We are not happy with this but not sure what to do.

Posted on: Thu, 04/19/2007 - 12:03am
theresaa's picture
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Joined: 09/04/2003 - 09:00

Also, when i asked about riding the school bus and what other children with allergies do since they can't carry epipens, she said that they don't have an epipen on the school bus.

Posted on: Thu, 04/19/2007 - 12:10am
saknjmom's picture
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Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by theresaa:
[b] I asked her about when she is not in her office and they need the epipen and all she said was she was in the office over 90% of the time and i also asked about when she is off and she really didn't give me a straight answer on that either. We are not happy with this but not sure what to do.
[/b]
I have an agreement with school that if the nurse is absent and a sub is not available, my ds does not go to school and has an excused absence.
The school is to notify me immediately if the nurse leaves the building during the day for any reason, for any length of time.
This has worked well. This year, she has not been absent and she stays at school from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.
The head secretary is in charge of calling me in the event of her absence.

Posted on: Thu, 04/19/2007 - 12:34am
stephi13339's picture
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Joined: 03/09/2006 - 09:00

I'm also in NY, although my dd won't start preK until next year.
I found a food allergy module online [b]FOR NY[/b] school nurses. I'm going to rearaise the thread for you.
Also on this website- go to medication forms. The 2 that I saw that would be helpful to you are #1-Determination of Self-Directed Students and #2-Self Medication Release Form.
Hope these help!

Posted on: Thu, 04/19/2007 - 12:39am
stephi13339's picture
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Joined: 03/09/2006 - 09:00

One thing that bothered me--
Quote:The school nurse than called my son's doctor and told her that she would have to give written permission but that my son would be 100% responsible for it and that the teachers and staff were not able to touch it.
That's completely untrue and very misleading!! Under the good samariatan law, unlicesed personnel and staff CAN administer epi-pen. Maybe because of the way the nurse worded it to your physician (which is completely misleading!) is why they didn't want to give permission. Just because your child will be carrying it, doesn't mean that he's solely responsible for administering it. You can find information about this on the website I raised for you.

Posted on: Thu, 04/19/2007 - 12:46am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by theresaa:
[b]My son will start school this year and the school nurse says the same thing, that the epipen is kept locked in her office. I asked her about when she is not in her office and they need the epipen and all she said was she was in the office over 90% of the time and i also asked about when she is off and she really didn't give me a straight answer on that either. We are not happy with this but not sure what to do.[/b]
I am also in St. Louis area. You school nurse may not be aware that last summer legislation was passed giving children the right to carry thier epi: [url="http://www.moga.state.mo.us/statutes/C100-199/1670000627.HTM"]http://www.moga.state.mo.us/statutes/C100-199/1670000627.HTM[/url]

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