School won\'t allow my child to wear the epi-pen

Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2001 - 12:39pm
momof4's picture
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Joined: 03/26/2001 - 09:00

pI called the principal, she had no problem with my daughter wearing it next year when she starts school. I have been very involved with the school since my older daughter started there last year, so the principal is aware of my parenting skills. She called the school board and they said NO, she can not wear the epi-pen. The school board stated that they can have it in the nurses office, under the 504 disability act is should be available within 5 minutes. HELLO, my daughter doesn't have 5 minutes, seconds count. I will be working on this over the next month, if anyone has any advice, I welcome it. If this doesn't work I was just told of some charter schools that may allow it. I am very angry with the board for not allowing it, and will be meeting with them. Has anyone won the fight to allow the child to wear the epi-pen in the USA?br /
I look forward to hear from anyone.br /
Cindy/p

Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2001 - 1:42pm
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

I would recommend that you get your doctor involved, and get support from him or her that your child must wear the epi-pen. My understanding is that the 504 plan is individualized for each child. You should not have to put up with this standard "five minute" thing if you do not feel it is enough for your child. Good luck! Miriam

Posted on: Wed, 03/28/2001 - 12:14am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

At my sons school the meds are kept by the teacher in a special bright red fanny pack. Wherever the children go - the meds go. The kids are not permitted to carry the epipen nor keep it in their backpacks (safety issue for other children). Perhaps you could suggest this method to the school - let the teacher keep the epipen in the classroom in a locked drawer or high cupboard.
We have prescriptions for multiple epipens so that we don't need to bring home the epipen from school each day that he goes. We have epis at school and at home.

Posted on: Wed, 03/28/2001 - 12:32am
Janet Laflamme's picture
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Joined: 02/08/1999 - 09:00

Cindy,
You'll find that each school district sets policy differently. I heard the same thing 3 years ago when my son started school. We negotiated a 504 plan over the course of a year. Instead of the nurse's cabinet or my son carrying it we compromised on a fanny pack that follows him through the day. The pack contains his 504 emergency plan, symptoms, epi-pen and benedryl. Each teacher has designated a spot for a hook for it to hang on in the class. It goes to music, gym , lunch room monitor etc. I check on this and also ask my son if they forget. It hasn't been a problem.
As he gets older we will lobby for changes which will make him responsible for carrying it to the different classrooms and eventually carrying it himself (I hope by middle school).
I found the first meetings when trying to work out what your child needs to be nerve-wracking. I brought all the information I could find in handouts for all the people at the meetings. You'll need information and doctors note to show that the epi-pen must be given immediately, not in 5 minutes. I dressed professionally--sorry to say sometimes how you present yourself makes a difference in whether you are to be treated seriously. And I brought along my sister who is an educator herself. You can bring anyone you want to your meeting- I think this was the biggest help of all. It wasn't me against the rest of the room (husband was willing but his tongue is too quick with retorts!)
There are no set 504 plans for anyone-each one is tailored to the individual needs. Send a letter to the person in your district who handles these requests and ask for a 504 meeting. They must respond and set a meeting within a short time period.
Good luck.
Janet

Posted on: Wed, 03/28/2001 - 12:44am
PeanutTrace's picture
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Joined: 03/14/2001 - 09:00

This seems like one area where Canada is stronger. It seems like all of the Canadians on the board are asked to have their children wear the epi belt/fanny pack.
I wonder if you could use cases from Canada in your argument as well. We have written documentation in our boards policies that epi pens should be worn around the waist.
Perhaps this will help them realize that it doesn't pose a huge risk to other children, it's working well here! in fact, none of the children even bother or notice the epi belt around my daughter's waist.
Let me know if it's useful, I'm sure I could find some documentation for you.

Posted on: Wed, 03/28/2001 - 1:12am
momof4's picture
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Joined: 03/26/2001 - 09:00

Thank you all for your comments. I wish our country could be so well adjusted to the allergy. I did speak to some people today on the board and she can carry the epi pen, as long as I can get the doctor to write it up in the plan. I don't see a problem with that, I won't leave the office until it is done! I explained the idea of the bus would be horrible and I would be taking care of the transportation myself. I was told the school nurse would educate the staff of the allergy and epi-pen use. I explained I would be taking care of that, the nurse is very excited that I want to be so involved. I will see what comes of the doctors meeting Friday. We have only been here less than two years, so I haven't seen an allergist here yet. I am waiting until she is 6. I had her into her allergist days before we moved here.
Thank you again for your ideas. I just feel better having her wear the epi-pen. Maybe in Washington State I would have felt better about having it carried around by the staff. However in Florida, there are so many issues for the teachers, I don't feel secure in depending on their ability to keep track of it.
Thank you again.
Cindy

Posted on: Fri, 03/30/2001 - 12:03pm
momof4's picture
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Joined: 03/26/2001 - 09:00

Just wanted to let everyone know how the doctors went today. It looks like I have won my fight for my daughter. The doctor filled out the paper work stating she must carry on person. The school board said if it was written up by the doctor she could, but they have other children in the county with the same allergy and they are not allowed. Maybe the parents didn't know to put up more of a fight. I have a meeting Tuesday with the principal for all of this, so it is looking much better now. Thank you for all the advice, I wouldn't have known without it all.

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