At What Age Do You Have Your Child Wearing Epi-pen Almost Full-Time?

Posted on: Mon, 11/26/2001 - 10:49am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I know that this question really comes to me because of our recent move. Things are SO much different here than they were Stuck in Stayner. I no longer live in an isolated and very well controlled environment. We actually have places to go and things to do!

Jesse has been wearing his MedicAlert Epi-belt at school since he was 3-3/4 years old. It was a requirement of the school and I have always felt quite comfortable with that.

When Jesse is out with us, or previously anyway, both his Father and I carry an Epi-pen, so there is at least one Epi-pen on-hand. When we made the journey from Stayner to where we are now (bus, subway, train, taxi), he had his MedicAlert Epi-belt on as well as the one I had in my purse.

What I'm wondering now is if he should be wearing an Epi-belt with an Epi-pen when we're out and about. As I say, the environment is not as controlled and isolated. I have already found one local donut shop that I will definitely not feel comfortable taking him into. Both donut shops in Stayner were okay for me to take him into. Also, he was invited to his first ever birthday party of people that we didn't know really well.

I'm thinking that it's time and I just wanted to hear other opinions re this. I have always been of the belief that the earlier our children begin wearing their Epi-pens and MedicAlert bracelets the more these items become part and parcel of our children and our children are more comfortable with them.

Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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Posted on: Mon, 11/26/2001 - 11:58pm
smack's picture
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Joined: 11/14/2001 - 09:00

Cindy,
My son is in J.K. and I just gave his Teacher the epipen and I put one in his backpack as well. Are you saying that your son wears a belt with a epipen in it all the time? Is that because he goes in different classes at school?
Question for you also is because Benadryl only comes in liquid formula for children, and the pills are age 6 and up, should I give his teacher the liquid and ask her to administer this along with the epipen if needed? My son is 4 so I can't buy the pills yet so I was wondering if you give the whole bottle of benadryl to the teacher or just a syringe with the prescribed dosage so she or he is not having to measure etc etc.
Thanks for your input!-Sylvia

Posted on: Tue, 11/27/2001 - 12:46am
KatiesMom's picture
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Joined: 03/01/2000 - 09:00

Smack,
My 1st grade daughter wears her epi-belt full time in school. It is pretty inconspicuous and I know she'll always have it with her. When she was in pre-school I gave the school both the liqued benedryl and the epi. In school, she only carries the epi with her, not the benedryl. The benedryl stays in the nurses office. In her school, only the nurse can give benadryl, not the teachers. Teachers can only give life saving medicine, the epi is considered life saving, benadryl is not.

Posted on: Tue, 11/27/2001 - 1:11am
smack's picture
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Joined: 11/14/2001 - 09:00

Katiesmom,
I will take benadryl to school today to give to the nurse. Thanks! Now my question to you is since my son is not wandering around school (just in his class and with teacher all the time) does he need the belt?
[This message has been edited by smack (edited November 27, 2001).]

Posted on: Tue, 11/27/2001 - 2:20am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

smack, excellent question! My son doesn't really move around the school a lot. He does more now that he is in Grade One but it has been a requirement of the school (now previous school) that he have his Epi-belt on him at ALL times during the day at school while he was in JK and SK.
I know that in JK and SK he did have to leave his classroom and teacher to go outside for two recesses and the break at lunch in the playground. Also, I'm fairly clear that he did go into gym class as well.
The reason the school wanted his Epi-pen on his person was so that should he have a reaction his medication was right on him and they wouldn't have to worry about someone scurrying around to find the Epi-pen. Given his history, I'm quite comfortable with that.
When he moved into Grade One (both at the old school and now in our new town), we knew that he would be moving around the school a little more than he was previously in JK and SK and that's really why I felt the need to have a personalized school plan implemented for him this year.
I'm not sure if I'm answering your question at all, but I do know that when the school required this of me just over two years ago, and Jesse just under 4 years of age, I didn't even think twice about it. I just thought, great, he'll have the Epi-pen right there should someone need it.
He did carry it in a fanny pack until I purchased a MedicAlert Epi-belt this past spring. And I have to say that that even changed things for me. I really like the Epi-belt and particularly the MedicAlert symbol on it. I feel as though it ensures his safety even more somehow.
As for the Benadryl, I think Katie's Mom answered your question re that really well.
Because of Jesse's reactions, we're one of the kinds of parents who are of the "Epi-pen only" school of thought, so I've never had to deal with Benadryl and the school. Oh, and in saying that, there are also many many people that through their experience do have both Benadryl and Epi-pens with their children. Probably the "Epi-pen only" parents are a minority, although I'm not clear about that (hey, good question! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ).
Now, any answers to my original question? LOL!
Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Tue, 11/27/2001 - 2:23am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Ah, I realized we've already had quite a lengthy heated debate previously on the board re Benadryl and Epi-pens and Epi-pens only and I don't feel like doing it again! I'm sure it's searchable somehow if anyone was interested in why some of us think differently about it than others! I don't feel like opening a can of worms to-day! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Tue, 11/27/2001 - 2:42am
Tracey's picture
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Joined: 04/25/2001 - 09:00

My PA son who is in grade 1, wears his epi-belt everywhere. We have a hook at our front door where it hangs and he does not go out without it. We have been doing this for about two years now. His epi-belt is just a part of his usual routine, coat, shoes, epi-belt. I think that by doing this it is teaching him that the responsibility is his to make sure it is always with him. The belt is very inconspicuous and doesn't interfear with anything. I believe it is good training for the future and it really reduces the risk of it being forgotten. If we are travelling far then I will carry an extra one in my purse. Even if he is playing in the back yard he puts it on, not that that is neccessary but that the continuity ensures that he is always in the habit. More often then not when it is bath time at night he takes it off meaning that he has worn it around the house all evening. I just feel like it is a good habit to be in and his wearing it when not neccessary (watching tv) just shows how comforable he is wearing it.

Posted on: Tue, 11/27/2001 - 2:53am
Kathryn's picture
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Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

Troy has worn his epi-pen since 3.5 yrs every time he left the house. At first we used a fanny pack but now we have the specially designed, extremely durable and weight resistance epi-pen case from Medic Alert. Troy has always carried two pens as we are often more than 15 minutes away from any of the hospitals in our area and sometimes ambulance response is slower than 15 minutes--rarely but we want to be safe. We live in a large city with 6 hospitals / urgent care centres. I also worry that one might malfunction or someone might use it incorrectly.
At first when he went to school we did not think he needed one on his person but even in JK the kids are in the library, on the playground, in the gym etc and if he needed an epipen the teacher would first have to gather the other kids, or summon help through the pa system or find someone to run to the classroom and all of that added up to too much delay for our liking.
My doctor said something that resonates still: even young children can always wear the epipen--it is the parents who are more resistant to the idea than the kids.
Troy adjusted easily, knows that this is what he does and why. He has always practiced using the pen with a trainer but he is 7 now and we are doing training with real life expired pens not just the trainer and he just accepts it. He has always been ready for the responsibility of wearing the pens even when I was not sure he was old enough!
His dad and I also always carry a pen so when we are all out together we have 4.
Hope this helps. Take care.

Posted on: Tue, 11/27/2001 - 3:48am
Beth's picture
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Joined: 03/06/1999 - 09:00

What a great job you all are doing! In hindsight, I wish I would've had my daughter carry the epipen from a young age. Now, at 14, I am encountering alot of arguments about it. Not really verbal arguments, but resistance. I think if we would've started younger, it would be a part of everyday life and no big deal. Right now, unfortunately, it is a big deal. Believe me, if any of you are carrying it for your kids all the time, you are setting yourselves up for eye-rolling misery later on...ah, the teen years! Best of luck!

Posted on: Tue, 11/27/2001 - 5:59am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Beth - don't beat yourself up. I'm sure that even if you had always made your daughter wear it, she would still be resistant at 14 about it. As a comparison, my 14 year old son recently started biking without his helmut. Wearing bike helmuts is a non-negotiable in our house, so we took his bike away until he decides to wear it again. He's worn a helmut since he had his very first tricycle, so I think it's a teen thing. Don't blame yourself! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Cayley is 4, and her Epi and Benadryl are in a fanny pack inside her backpack. When the class goes outside or to a different area (library, eg.), the teacher wears the fanny pack. Not sure how the school would be about kids wearing EpiPens, but I'm sure they would be open to discussion about it. Cayley's in a peanut-free school by the way, where the teachers are hyper-vigilant about checking food items/snacks/lunches.

Posted on: Tue, 11/27/2001 - 11:33pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Kathyrn, I was fairly sure that you would be responding in this thread if you were on the board. I must say that both yours and Tracey's responses were what I needed to hear. As with most everything, I probably already knew which route I wanted to go with this, but I wanted the advice of other PA parents.
Jesse switched to an Epi-belt in the Spring from a fanny pack and I was asking him about the comfort of it because it's a hard thing, I think. I showed him how he could move it around different ways for when he's in gym and stuff but he said that he was quite comfortable with it and liked it much better than the fanny pack. I was really pleased to hear that because to tell you the truth, I'm not sure that I would be comfortable with that on me.
I also find it interesting that moving can actually have an affect on your comfort zones and how you really need to assess them depending on where you're living. This move has been very positive for our whole family but I'm wondering if the fact that Jesse will begin to wear his Epi-pen almost full-time at still a fairly young age (6 next Tuesday), if that's not just positive enough. Do you know what I mean? I'm thinking that if we were still in the old town, I wouldn't have been raising this question for a little bit of time yet, maybe not 'til next summer when he would be out and about.
I certainly knew that PA would factor into our move, but it's just kinda interesting to sit back and see what small ways it does work itself in to your everyday life. And again, I've realized how isolated and well controlled an environment we've lived in for the past three years. I believe it's definitely a good time (and age for Jesse) for that to have changed.
Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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