Hello I'm new here, but looking for some answers....
Our youngest daughter and the one with a peanut/cashew allergy recently started kindergarten. Our oldest is in 4th grade at the same school, so we started a discussion last year regarding the schools procedures, etc.. At that time we were told the school kept all epipens in a cabinet in the office and that everyone knew where they were. They of course assured me they had fail safe procedures in place.
Fast forward to this year, end of day and I need to see pen to get info from it. It took them 5 minutes to locate our pens. Normal staff in office along with principal, who assured me all was good last year! School nurse is only a few days a week and was of course gone.
I will also state we just completed blood test for allergies on her and found peanuts are stage 3, cashews on other hand are stage 4. I've seen her reaction to peanuts and its not pretty. The more I learn the more I believe she should have been given the epipen on several occasions. Doctor was very concerned about the level of her allergies and wrote that she should have epipen on her persons at all times.
Obviously started new dialog with the school and they are figuring us on getting the free pens from mylar as well as her ability to self carry at school.
I'm looking for people that have expedienced any of this and for input/guideance.
By smithdcrk on Aug 26, 2014
In Elementary School, having an allergy response kit (epi pen, antihistamine, etc) at the Nurse's Office (across from the cafeteria) and in the classroom was part of my daughter's 504 plan. In addition, the Nurse made sure that her teacher was committed to using the kit - no fear of needles or squeamishness. When she had an afterschool activity that would need her to carry, the teacher or nurse assumed custody of her personal kit until the hand-off.
In MS & HS, even with insurance, it was too expensive to leave a response kit in each of her classrooms. At that time, we updated her 504 plan so that she was "licensed to carry" and self-administer.
By GrownUpLaurenMom on Aug 26, 2014
Same here. We had two sets of epi-pens at the school. One was kept in the nurses office and one stayed in a 'medical bag' that was out of reach of kids in the classroom. The teacher would carry it from classroom, to PE to art, and would hold it at lunch until the teacher with lunch duty took it. the 2nd set was a 'who is closest'. By 5th grade, DD showed how responsible she was and she carried it herself in preparation to go the middle school where it was safer for her to have it. The thought behind that was that teachers were still close enough to watch her with it.
Two suggestioins: 1) foodallergy.org - they used to sell The School Food Allergy Program. Worth it's weight in gold as it lays out all about peanut-allergies/food allergies in black and white, and includes the laws and our children's rights under ADA. They used to give one to a school for free or you could buy it for $70. Don't know if they still have it but they must have something similar. At a minimum, they must have info you can use to educate. I found people believed us much easier when we gave them facts in black and white. They shut down completely if we were at all emotional.
2) Enlist the help of EMTs at the local fire department. They came right out and told the school that anaphylaxis is the most serious call they get and they WILL tell the school that 5 minutes to find the pens is unacceptable. Because the school can easily go into defensive mode (and therefore a fighting mode), what we did was to ask the EMTs to help us build a team with the school. EMTs helped to train and reinforced what we had already told them.
By grabeb on Aug 26, 2014
Part of my problem is I think the school nurse we have is clueless on the allergy. She talks a big game and says she has administered them, but she told me after getting an injection by one people tend to freak out, throw up, etc, etc..... This is totally the opposite of what i read. She also tried to say the needle stocks out 4" past the orange tip once used. ... The plastic tip is designed to civet the needle, then to top it off, my very trusted doctors nurse told us the school nurse called her to inquire as to how and when to administer the epipen. The above are reasons she doesn't want my daughter carrying her epipen.
Thanks for the replies I'll look into the plan mentioned as well as the rest.
By GrownUpLaurenMom on Aug 26, 2014
LOL... the needle does NOT stick out 4" after the injection. LOL... It is more 1/2".
1) DD has had it the shot before. Did NOT throw up. Mostly got shaky. See http://www.rxlist.com/adrenalin-side-effects-drug-center.htm for a list of side effects and you'll see what she's talking about is more for those with hypertension.
2) If you are in a public school, you have options. The school is required to provide her with reasonable accomodations. If you have support that taking 5 minutes to find the pen is NOT acceptable, then they are not provding reasonable accomodations. You ARE covered under 504 and if you do not have a 504 plan in the works, I honestly recommend you start working on it. Realize that the reasonable accomodation COULD be that they provide a paraprofessional who is willing to escort her daily and who is willing to administer, if necessary. That personally wouldn't be my first option because it would cost the school and could put you at odds with them. Not what you want. But my point is there is a ton on your side.