When did you start teaching your child about the epipen?

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When did you teach your child about the epipen and how did you go about it?? My son is almost 2 1/2 - we have only known of his allergy for 2 months - when do we teach him about the epipen? thanks

On Jan 3, 2003

I told my dd about it specifically recently, and she turned 3 in Sept. She saw me moving them or checking them and asked me what it was. I showed her, and told her it was her medicine if she ate peanuts. She loves medicine(ugh), so I then quickly thought I should show her it is a shot. I did not want her trying for a reaction to get the yummy medicine, you know?? I actually showed her with the trainer on her leg what we would really do, and it hurt a bit. She said ouch to the pressure of the trainer, but was fine otherwise and cool about it. I am glad we did that. So, it was totally unplanned, but I like how it went! becca

On Jan 4, 2003

I told Chris all about the epi pen as soon as I got it. I am not sure of the age because he is 16 now and I have had the epi forever it seems.I am sure it wasn't when he was 10 months old but i know we never kept it from him. I do know that my 4 year old has known how to administer the Epi since he was 3. He has always known we had it and that we need it for his brother but of course know I actually think he could give it if he had to. He is excellent about educating people about the epi though. Every so often I pretend i can not remember how to give it and he will remind me. It is just a way to make sure he could react if I wasn't right there. Sometimes I know my kids handle it way better than most adults. Last week we had a party for new years. I told my sister in law to ask me what to bring right in front of the kids. To make sure my 4 year old had his guard on she said what about that Maple Walnut cheese cake i like. He told her to get out of the car and that she wasn't invited to our home. AS I SAID WE HAD THIS PLAN,SHE IS THE BEST PERSON IN RESPECTING AND PROTECTING MY KIDS. ALSO Chris was not with us,and he would have actually have been proud of his brother. Anyway back to the subject I say as soon as the child knows they have the allergy and can comprehend what your saying. Take care claire

On Jan 4, 2003

My son is 18 and we taught him to self-administer his epipen when he was five. We did not know about the PA before then.

Each time he has needed his epipen we have let him do it himself. We just sit there and watch and he does it without hesitation. Luckily we have always been present during a reaction. I know that if he has a reaction and he is alone he will handle things intelligently.

My neighbor has an aspirin allergy. She had a reaction once and called me and 911. I came over and handed her her epipen. She told me "I called you so you would do it for me." I told her that it was her job. I'll stay to be sure you are safe, I'll go to the ER with you but you have to use the epipen yourself. She did fine.

And BTW, I made sure my son knew that the epipen would hurt. We once let him use an expired epipen on an orange so he could see the size of the needle. It is enormous in the adult sized epipen.

Peggy

On Jan 4, 2003

I fully "explored" the epi-pen and trainer with my daughter when she was six, I think. She knew about it before then, and knew that she always had to have it with her. But, I sheltered her from the realities of her allergies too much when she was young, and never really got into all the details of it with her. We haven't had to use it, knock on wood. Now that she's eight, and is so many places without me - I should probably make sure that she could use it if necessary. Thanks for a thought provoking thread. Miriam

On Jan 4, 2003

My 3 year old son knows I always carry his medicine with me. One day he was asking a lot of questions, so I decided to show him the trainer, explain the epi-pen and demonstrate how the trainer worked on his leg. He was fine until I used the trainer on his leg. Then he started crying hysterically and saying "Mommy, please don't give me a shot!" So I think you have to be careful about giving a three year old too much information.

On Jan 5, 2003

My daughter was 2 years old when we found our she was allergic to peanuts. When we went to the allergist he showed up the Epipen Trainer and we HAD to try it out in front of him. We tired it on our daughter and later bought our own Trainer for family, friends and school staff to practice using.

My daughter is 5 years old now and knows that in an emergency it HAS to be used -- no questions asked. She remembers all too well how she felt when she has had a reaction.

On Jan 5, 2003

Thanks so much for the responses - I picked up 2 trainers to use with family and friends - as well as the book "No Nuts For Me" - thats were this question came from - I have been reading the book to my son and when he saw the page with the boy holding the epipen and I explained it was medicine for his peanut allergy my son responded with the motion of taking medicine orally - I thought WOW I need to educate him on this but when.....Thanks again for sharing with me!

On Jan 5, 2003

After reading this thread, I just taught my daughter age 7 1/2 how to use the Epipen tonight. She is never with anyone unless they are trained, so I thought it was too soon, but after reading this thread I decided I was wrong. First she practiced with the trainer, then she practiced with an expired one into a lemon. She asked to do it again, so she practiced twice more into a lemon. I never get rid of them when they expire, so we had several expired ones on hand. Here is the question for those of you whose kids have never needed the Epi or it was too long ago for the child to remember. How do you explain to your child WHEN to use the Epi? The how to use it really isn`t hard, but I`ve only had to use the Epi once at age 2 1/2 so she doesn`t remember. What exactly do you tell your child as far as how to know that they are having a reaction? For example I usually tell teachers to watch for wheezing. The teachers always say they have a friend or family member with asthma, so they know what wheezing is. My daughter doesn`t know what wheezing is. And hives are hard to explain to a child. I could say big red spots that itch, but then if she had insect bites she would think she is having a reaction. So what exactly do you tell your kids for how to know if they need to use the Epi?

On Jan 5, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by Peg541: [b]My son is 18 and we taught him to self-administer his epipen when he was five. We did not know about the PA before then.

Each time he has needed his epipen we have let him do it himself. We just sit there and watch and he does it without hesitation. Luckily we have always been present during a reaction. I know that if he has a reaction and he is alone he will handle things intelligently.

My neighbor has an aspirin allergy. She had a reaction once and called me and 911. I came over and handed her her epipen. She told me "I called you so you would do it for me." I told her that it was her job. I'll stay to be sure you are safe, I'll go to the ER with you but you have to use the epipen yourself. She did fine.

And BTW, I made sure my son knew that the epipen would hurt. We once let him use an expired epipen on an orange so he could see the size of the needle. It is enormous in the adult sized epipen.

Peggy[/b]

Peg541 - You are one brave woman, and I am simply in awe at how you trained your son at age 5 to self inject. And good for you for making your neighbour self inject. It is these real life lessons that truly permit those with the allergy to manage them fully.

Warmest regards,

On Jan 5, 2003

My daughter was 2 when she was given a trainer and shown how it works - every now and then she'll request to carry in a fanny pack, to be like me who carries "Epi" on my waist. She always hollers as we're going out anywhere "Got Epi Mom?" (Like Epi is a buddy we're taking along or something)

Syd loves to show people how to use the epi trainer and during the Fun Day for PA kids in Toronto/Markham , in the middle of the wagon ride, Syd decides that this would be a really good time and place to whip out her epi-trainer and show everyone (like our group didn't already know [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] ) how to use the epi-pen.

She's three now and will be expected to carry it in an epi-belt this coming fall.

She may not be able to self inject fully, but she'll have the real deal around her waist at all times, with a back up epi-pen around her JK teacher or me.

Now I have to start the training her about not whipping out the epi-trainer for everyone to see as that is a real safety issue that needs understanding and clarity on that it is only ever taken out when she needs it in an emergency.

She's trained more pharmasists at Shopper's Drug Mart on how to use an epi-pen (with the trainer) than they'd care to admit! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]

[This message has been edited by Syd's Mom (edited January 06, 2003).]

On Jan 6, 2003

Jesse had his first reaction at 18 months of age, a second one at 2-1/2 and a third one at 3-1/4, so he definitely was aware of the Epi-pen, at latest, by the age of 3-1/4. I can't even imagine it being something that I had in my purse since he was 18 months old and me not discussing it with him previous to that.

No, he must have known about the Epi-pen before 3-1/4 years of age. He did start to wear it, in a fanny pack, as was required by his school, at age 3-3/4. I know that I felt totally comfortable with this request from the school because he knew what it was and that it was not something that he played with.

Now, as far as him being trained to use it. I would not expect Jesse, even at just 7 now, to administer his own Epi-pen.

We did try to use the Epi-pen trainer when he was about 5 and he kinda got freaked out on us. I spoke with another PA parent friend of mine and she said not to press it.

Last year, so at the age of 6, we did administer an expired Epi-pen into an orange. I did it while Jesse watched or had his hand over mine and then I explained all of the precautions we had to take after having done that.

Right now, even last night, Jesse seems to have a heightened anxiety re his allergy (perhaps because of the recent anaphylactic reaction and also because we're not sure if he has a *new* FA or not) so I wouldn't really think about talking to him about it again, as far as practicing. I believe should he ever be pressed, Jesse would use the Epi-pen. I truly believe that, but right now just doesn't seem to be a good time to discuss it.

Syd's Mom - I think I had scheduled the SDM seminar when both kids were in school. It ended up being cancelled where I live but now I'm thinking for next year, I should schedule it for when Jesse can be with me. Didn't even cross my mind. DUH!

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Jan 7, 2003

wow - great advice - I have just introduced the epipen to my son - he now knows we take it everywhere and I am teaching him to ask about it when we leave the house as a double check - for know he just knows it is medicine for his allergy.

He can also tell me he is allergic to nuts and knows to say no to food offered by anyone except mom dad grandma and aunt judy.

At the grocery store I pointed at a jar of peanut butter and asked if we should but it -he said no and I asked why and he said nuts -- it felt so good that he can verbally respond. In the check out he started to grab at candy (which he has never had anyway) he grabbed a pepermint pattie of all things - it scared my husband and I said just tell him about the allergy - so he said "you know how you are allergic to peanuts - well some of those things have peanuts in them and could make you really sick and we don't want you touching them" our son nodded and didn't touch anymore -- for 2 I am very impressed.

Thanks for all the help and the courage to begin educating him NOW!

On Jan 8, 2003

We have taught our girls all about the pen since they were diagnosed 2yrs ago at ages 2 and 4. They do not know how to use the pen themselves but they know they cannot leave the house without it! They each have a bag which carries a bottle of benadryl and their pens. Each one carries 2 pens. Whenever they go anywhere, they grab their bag. Once I feel they are ready to handle the next part, we'll teach them how to administer it. Since I've been VERY luck in NOT having to use it yet, I feel strange expecting them to use it!! Hopefully, we'll NEVER know what it's like!!

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