Category Archives: Epipen
Epipen/Medicine Bag Review & Giveaway
In honor of Allergy Awareness week, I want to share with you what we use for my daughter’s Epipen and medications. We purchased it through FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education). If you have never checked out their site, it is full of great allergy info! The bag is small enough it fits in a purse or diaper bag, or can be hooked on a belt loop. It fits EVERYTHING we need to keep my daughter safe, including two Epipens, a bottle of Benadryl, an inhaler, AND her allergyactionform (gread downloadable free form) plus we keep a DVD in there on how to use an Epipen. We keep that in there in case someone does not know how to use an Epipen or needs a refresher course.
This is the best bag, and is the perfect size, AND it’s only $6 through FARE (plus shipping $4.50 for two bags)! We keep one bag for when Bean goes to a friend’s house, sitter, or if we go on a family outing. We have another that Bean takes to school to keep in the nurse’s office. The one for school we wrote her name and “SEVERE PEANUT ALLERGY & ASTHMA” on the front. Her school nurse says she loves that if she ever needs anything for Bean, all she has to do is quickly get out her bag. We have had both bags for 5 years now. It has been all over the place and they are still is in excellent shape.
FARE’s online store is currently not active, because they just revamped their site, however you can view the FARE Order Form and call them to place your order at 800-929-4040.
ORRRR you can win one! Several ways to gain entries to win the fantastic bag.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
**Disclaimer: I was in no way compensated or given anything free in order to do this review. I just think it’s such a great product that I wanted to share it with you. FARE is sending out a free bag to one winner though for the giveaway. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.
The BEST Printable Allergy Action Plan
For those of you who have or who have a child with an anaphylactic food allergies, or know someone who does, this is the most comprehensive form I have found out there. It is from FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education). I prefer this over the one my allergist gave my daughter, and others I have seen on the web. I keep one of these with every Epipen my daughter has – my purse, her backpack, school nurse, and our take along bag. It also has a spot to acknowledge if the allergic person has asthma or not (which would make their airway reaction much worse) AND what to do in case they do! Most forms I have found do not cover this.
If you must carry an Epipen, then be sure to have one of these forms in there with it!
You can see the form by clicking here or going to http://www.foodallergy.org/document.doc?id=125
Always Carry Your Epipen
When my daughter was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy 6 1/2 years ago, I started noticing anything and everything having to do with peanut allergies. I read news articles, blogs, medical reports, and caught as many newscasts as I could. However, I also read the very sad stories of children who have died from accidental peanut ingestion. It reminds me of how very serious and deadly Bean’s peanut allergy truly is. While reading these somber articles, I always look for the cause. What caused the child to eat something with peanuts? I make mental notes and add them to my list of do’s and don’ts that I need to teach my daughter. I know there is no way of keeping her 100% safe, other than putting her in a peanut free bubble. Yes, I have actually considered it a time or two. However, her peanut allergy is something she is going to have to live with the rest of her life (or until they find a cure). In the meantime, I have to let her experience school, and friends, and life in general. I just hope and pray every day that if a situation does arise, that she remembers what I have taught her and will make wise choices.
It is estimated that 50 – 62 percent of fatal cases of anaphylaxis were caused by peanut allergies. This terrifies me, because all it takes is one accidental ingestion. One mistake. This is why carrying an Epipen is a MUST. In many of the stories where someone lost their life to a food allergy, an Epipen was not easily accessible, or the allergic person did not have one with them at all. One girl was at camp and left hers in her cabin. In another story, he was moving and it was packed in a box. And in another the mom left it in the car while grocery shopping. The reality of it is that anaphylactic reactions happen when you least expect them to. No one ever says, “oh what the heck, give me that peanut butter cookie. I have my Epipen handy.” So the time you will need your Epipen the most is when you expect to need it the least. I realize it may not be convenient to do, but find a way to keep it with you everywhere you go. All it takes is one slip up, and it could cost a life.
Also, invest in a medic alert bracelet. Reactions come on quickly and close off airways, making it impossible to talk. At least pointing at the bracelet will alert people about what is happening if you do have a reaction.
This just makes me angry and sad!!
I cannot believe how cruel and uncaring people can be! People are protesting school procedures and accommodations for a 6 year old little girl who has a severe peanut allergy. They are protesting and saying that their children’s rights are being taken away all for one little girl!
This newscast left me heartbroken and angry! The arguments presented by the parents who are complaining about accommodations being made for this peanut allergic child are insane! Oh no, their kids have to actually wash their hands… but taking time to wash hands twice a day cuts into their daily learning time. Really? Shouldn’t the kids be washing their hands ANYWAY?? The interviewer asks the one complaining mom, “what happens if you push too hard for the rights of many and the little girl gets exposed?” She responds, “I really can’t answer that.” How can she? I am willing to bet that those same parents who are protesting, would be the first to want changes made if their child had a food allergy! One of my favorite arguments they are making is that classic childhood traditions are being taken away. The problem is, with so many children having food allergies, classic childhood traditions do not apply anymore!
I am going to go on a little rant right now, and I am going to apologize in advance if this makes anyone angry or if it hurts anyone’s feelings. This is not our generation or what we grew up with as children! This is a new generation of children with food allergies – lots of food allergies, some so severe it can cause a child to die in less than 15 minutes. People will ask, “but isn’t that what Epipen’s are for?” Epipen’s are in case of emergency and should only be used to save a life. The adrenaline in them alone can cause complications, including heart attacks. Hence the “use Epipen and call 911” labeling. How many children do you know that would want to be stabbed in the leg with a needle that will inject them with adrenaline to keep their body from shutting down completely? Do you think they enjoy the sheer terror of feeling their throats closing up and not being able to breath? Every new parent should be required to watch a video of a child going into anaphylactic shock as part of first aid training. It would be taught right along side the Heimlich and CPR, because it can be just as deadly. Everyone should know the signs of anaphylactic shock, because children AND adults, can develop a life threatening food allergy at any time in their life.
Going back to the subject of classic childhood traditions, bringing home made treats to school is a thing of the past, making treat bags with edible goodies is frowned upon, and class parties are becoming more and more food free. Parents actually get upset by this. People don’t realize that the home made treats they brought in for little Jimmy’s birthday, if not prepared correctly can kill a child. Cross contamination, and not reading labels carefully is a very real threat when it comes to homemade treats. People then argue, well then just don’t allow the allergic child to eat the treat. Come one people, you tell your child that all of their friends can have something, but your child cannot. Your little Jimmy wants PB&J for lunch every day, and you are FIGHTING for that right… because he will die if he doesn’t have it? Nope! You are fighting and protesting, just because little Jimmy wants it. No life or death situation. No anaphylactic shock. No 911. So if parents are fighting and protesting that much just for something their child wants, then why wouldn’t you think that parents who have a child with a severe allergy, that can kill them, wouldn’t fight equally as hard and harder for their child’s rights too of a safe school environment?
In my opinion, your child’s right to have a PB&J at school is over ruled by a peanut allergic child’s right to not to die because or your child’s PB&J. I view this as a want vs. need. Your child may want peanut butter or things containing peanuts, but allergic children need to stay away from allergens to keep them alive. And the thing is, no one is asking you to change your home life for this. You can eat as much of whatever you want in your home. At home, little Jimmy can have PB&J for breakfast and dinner, and for every meal on the weekends plus snack time. He can eat it right out of the jar or smear it all over his hands and lick it off. He is just being asked to wash his hands when he gets to school, and refrain from bringing anything with peanuts into his classroom.
So, I apologize if people feel that making accommodations at school for children with allergies is infringing on their rights. I am also sorry it is necessary for schools to make accommodations for children with allergies. It just means they are becoming more and more prevalent. And I am sorry if your child has a food allergy, because it is not easy.
Just remember people don’t choose allergies. Allergies choose people.
Bus Drivers and Epipens?
My daughter, Bean, takes the bus to and from school every day. One of the requirements of her 504 Plan (that they specified) was that her bus seat needs to be wiped down before she rides the bus every day, and that we must provide the wipes to do this. The reason is that they pick up children from the high school, and although the rule is NO EATING on the bus, they cannot guarantee that no one sneaks an occassional candy bar. I get this, because we all were young once, and the driver cannot monitor every little thing that happens on the bus and focus on the road. So, every morning, before she gets on the bus, I use a Sani Hands wipe to wipe down Bean’s seat. She also carries them in her backpack, and gives them to the bus driver every day after school to wipe down her seat. She carries an Epipen in her backpack, which is frowned upon by the bus company, but per her allergy doctor’s letter, she must carry an Epipen with her everywhere she goes, including the bus.
There has been a lot of discussion lately about schools being supplied with Epipens, and who should be trained to use them. Should bus drivers should be trained to use an Epipen? YES, YES, YES! Most people who are around children all the time have to go to a first aid and CPR class, so I feel this should be included in all of their training. Anyone who will be around lots of children on a regular basis should have this training. Our bus driver is aware of Bean’s allergy, and knows that she carries an Epipen, just in case. I realize children are not allowed to eat on the bus. However, there are lots of things children should not do, but there are just those times where their little brains shut off, and they do it anyway. Refer to my previous post about Bean eating cookies in case you didn’t read it. What about other children, who don’t eat anything, but has never been stung by a bee before? The bus is not air conditioned, so they ride with the windows down. You never know when one of those sneaky little buggers will fly in an open window, the children will panic and begin swatting at it, and someone will end up getting stung. What would the driver do in that situation where minutes mean everything? I think it would just be an additional safeguard for all children with any allergies. What do you think?