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At what age did you/will you allow your child to carry their own EpiPen or other allergy med? My daughter is nearing 7 and has not carried her own EpiPen as of yet. She is very responsible for her age, but I am not sure if she is ready...although I like the thought of her having it with her 24/7 even on her person at school. What has your expirences been like?

------------------ Helen Mom to Alyssa (PA, age 5) Mom to Theodore (age 3)

On Jul 9, 2006

Our son has been wearing his Epi around his waist since Kindergarten (he's going into 4th now) during school. At home, we (the parents) carry multiple Epis and Benedryl fastmelts in a fanny pack.

On Jul 9, 2006

Helen, good question, one that I think of all the time. My daughter is 8 and we just started letting her carry it (in a "pocketbook") to birthday parties/playdates, etc. I inform (and instruct the host parent on using the epi-pen). I am not sure that she would use it correctly/know when to use it, although she has praciced many times w/ the trainer. My husband and I still carry it whenever/wherever we go. I also would be interested to hear from others...

On Jul 9, 2006

DD has been carrying them on her person since she was about 3.

This decision had nothing to do with basic safety per se. We just made a conscious decision that we wanted to train her to feel utterly naked without them.

And she does. We very seldom have to remind her/ask her where her epipens are. We have been quite blunt about why she can't ever be without them. But I want it ingrained by the time she's a young teen, KWIM?

We allow her to select the container/bag that she uses to carry them, and it isn't her responsibility to self-administer... but she is responsible for remembering to put them on when she leaves the house and for never ever ever setting them down somewhere. She may hand them to us and ask us to hold them for her. Or we might ask permission to hold them if we can see they are in her way. This is rare, truthfully. (Soccer, swimming, piano recitals, that kind of thing.)

She is very comfortable just wearing them... and they are definitely not hidden. She wears a small leather handbag messenger-style, and though it is pale pink leather, it also has a star of life enamel pin right in the center of it. Kids are very curious at first, but accept it as part of her very quickly. She isn't keen to show off the contents, and just describes them to others. Usually telling other kids "It's got a needle" turns off their curiosity in a hurry! LOL!

At 7, she is ultra-responsible, though... not all kids would I do this with.

On Jul 10, 2006

Ds has been carrying his for several months now. He turns 5 next month.

On Jul 10, 2006

We always let her pick out her own bag-- from whatever retail establishment we frequent... It has to have a comfortable strap which is just the right length for DD to wear slung across her chest. We've also made our own on occasion.

The little emblem? That came from an EMT supply catalog that I found on the E Coast-- I am thinking it was Boston. They also have lightweight blue vinyl keychains of the same star of life emblem. Everyone who sees that bag (as an adult, anyway) recognizes its medical purpose. EMTs would see it [i]immediately[/i]-- maybe even look for her MedicAlert bracelet sooner.

I also seem to recall that they carried embroidered patches that could be sewn on as well.

*********** Here are the links. They're in Framingham.

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[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited July 10, 2006).]

[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited July 10, 2006).]

On Jul 11, 2006

Love those Emblems! Thanks for the links! Great help. I am getting with dd's allergist before school starts to discuss self carry. She carries a little handbag with her to gymnastics and outings with her EpiPens, Benedryl, and Emergency information in it, but I really want to get something that she can 'wear' rather than carry while she is at school.