FARE Epipen Medication Bag Winner!
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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.
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?
Does my child have food allergies (please share with new parents)
I remember the exact moment when Bean had her first reaction to peanuts. Halloween was only a couple of weeks away. We were practicing saying “trick or treat” with her little orange pumpkin and the snack size bags of Reese’s Pieces. She was only 15 months old, and it was going to be her first Halloween out trick or treating. I was so excited about it. We were practicing, by pretending that she was going up to a door. I would answer the door, and she would say “trick treat”. She did it a few times, and finally she said, “trick or treat”! Her reward was she could have one of the bags of Reese’s Pieces. She ate TWO Reese’s Pieces, and her lips got very red, and her chin and cheeks turned red and got little bumps all over them. Neither my husband nor I have food allergies, so we didn’t have a clue what was happening. I took her into the bathroom and washed her face, thinking maybe she touched something. I never gave her Benadryl or took her to the doc. I think I might have put some Hydro-cortisone on her face. It took a while, but it did finally go away. After she went to bed, my husband and I were talking about what she could have gotten into that gave her a reaction like that. I remember asking him, “Do you think she might be allergic to peanuts?” We both dismissed the idea, because everyone has seen an allergic reaction on TV. There was no puffy face, eyes swelled shut, can’t breathe type of thing happening. Previous to that, we had been camping. We made scrambled eggs in Ziploc bags. It was a neat camping recipe I had found online. You crack an egg into a Ziploc bag, zip it closed, squish it around in the bag to scramble it, then place the sealed Ziploc bag into boiling water. It cooks it right in the bag, and you eat it right out of the bag too, with a spoon. That time her chin got red and got little bumps all over it. Again, we washed her face off, thinking she maybe got into some weeds or something at the campground. At her next appointment with the pediatrician, I mentioned it. When I told him it was an after thought… an “oh by the way” type of thing. I didn’t think of how serious it could be, until her pediatrician said he wanted to send her for food allergy tests and to keep her away from anything with peanuts and eggs until further notice. Her tests showed that she was (and is still) anaphylactic to peanuts, and that had a mild egg allergy(which she has since outgrown). We have come a long way in what we know now about allergies, but as first time parents who have never dealt with food allergies before, we were pretty clueless. I think back and wonder if I would have had any clue of what to do if she had actually gone into anaphylaxis from eating the Reese’s Pieces? Would I have done things correctly in time to save her? I didn’t have an Epipen yet. I am just thankful that her reaction was not worse than it was.
All that being said, PLEASE pass this info along to all new parents… you never know when they might need this information!