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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 9:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
Posts: 222
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Oh boy. I am a little freaked out right now.

My 8 year old boy had ball practice tonight and grumbled when I told him to grab his EpiPen. He reluctantly put it on with his baseball pants but was not happy with me. When we got to the field, one kid said, HEY - what's THAT? and made my son all upset. He stomped off and when I caught up with him he said he wasn't going to wear the EpiPen because it wasn't very 'baseball'.

My son is 8 and made it to the 9-11 year old team in try outs. I can tell he is really proud of that fact. He is a fearless sports fiend and I love that about him. But he wants his EpiPen to stay on the bench, in his helmet. I don't like that fearlessness.

He has never said no to me before like he did today. I am sick because I think I found out where he will be most at risk: at the game. I have told his coaches and we have informed the parents on the team but it is really evident that he doesn't really want to get into it with his teammates because he 'won't be eating' and, I wonder, if it means he thinks they don't have to know...

I guess besides this tale of woe I would like to ask, especially of parents of older kids, where are the EpiPens when your child is playing a sport? Are you always there at the game and the practices? My son told to go home and let him play so I left the EpiPen his helmet and my heart in my mouth.

Any insight would be helpful. I am so worried. :cry:

Caroline

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son anaphylactic to peanuts


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 9:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 10:02 am
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Location: Gatineau
Hi Caroline,

Is your son allergic to bees, or just food? I can understand you wanting to be cautious, but if the bench is only so many feet away, do you think it would still be all right? I definitely think that his coaches and teammates should know about his allergies, and that the coaches should be instructed on symptoms of a reaction and how to deal with it. I guess I'm just not sure if it would be so bad if the epi were to be on the sidelines, as long as it stays in a pre-determined area that coaches are aware of?

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ana to peanuts, nuts, eggs, shellfish, bananas
mild asthma and eczema, seasonal allergies


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 97
Location: Montreal
My son swims. No, the epi isn't in the water. It's with the coach, on the sidelines. And while my son's not eating while swimming, he is swallowing water which *could* have some proteins in it.

My daughter does gymnastics. There's no way she can have the epi on her. It's in the lockers (well, it's not really lockers, more like open boxes, where the girls put their clothes in, no locks anywhere.

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11yo boy - peanuts nuts chickpeas
8yo daughter - peanuts, nuts, mustard, eggs, sunflowers (new! ), oral allergy syndrome
husband - pollen of all kinds
me - seafood,, oral allergy syndrome


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 9:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
Posts: 222
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Maybe I am more freaked out about my son's attitude about all of this. We did talk a bit about it when he got home after my husband picked him up. Hubby said the coaches know his EpiPen is in his bag. The thing about today is that he didn't bring a bag. From now on we will be sure to bring it even if he doesn't think he needs it -- it will be like his belt is at school? I guess.

lin101 - my son is only allergic to food so thank goodness we don't have to worry about bees too! The bench is not at all that far away ever so even if he was bee allergic would it be ok to be on the bench? I don't think the coach would want to carry it but I have not asked. I am pretty sure my son doesn't want him to carry it though.

Cleo -- are you always there at every practice and meet? If not, are you ok with what the coaches know? If so, why do you choose to stay?

Thanks again.

Caroline

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son anaphylactic to peanuts


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 10:58 pm 
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Location: Gatineau
Hi Caroline,

I sympathize - I'm ana, and can't imagine what it must be like to have an ana child, especially a boy - at least with girls, carrying a purse is "cool".

As a child I played soccer and danced, and coaches kept my Epi-pen and knew how to use it. I think the main thing is that it is nearby, close enough to get to in seconds, and that there are responsible people who know how to use it. As serious as it is, I think you might want to consider as equally important (as you seem to be) your son's relationship to his allergies and his Epi. You don't want him to think it's a joke, to be sure, but you also want to make having allergies and the social embarassment that can cause as painless as possible. Your son might be more likely down the road to refuse to carry an Epi pen if he feels that in his childhood it's been a negative experience. It seems like having his Epi on the sideline (and being completely serious about that) is a fair compromise for both of you. Maybe even if he had a cool new gym bag with a handy hidden pocket he might be more inclined to bring it along... :)

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ana to peanuts, nuts, eggs, shellfish, bananas
mild asthma and eczema, seasonal allergies


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 6:30 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
Quote:
My son is 8 and made it to the 9-11 year old team in try outs. I can tell he is really proud of that fact.

Wow! That is an accomplishment. He must be aware that he is the youngest player on the team and is probably not wanting to appear childish in the eyes of his teammates. I suspect that is why he behaved as he did with you. Your the "mommy". I hate to say it but your husband might have more lick enforcing rules tight now especially in front of the team.
So your son wants to play baseball and peanuts are an integral part of the game. They're even mentioned in the song Take Me Out to the Ballgame! Your son wants to hide his EpiPen under his hat. I agree with you that that is not good enough. I can imagine it getting knocked off the bench during the game.
I think that your husband and you should discuss this with the coaches. Could they keep it with them? They are responsible for the kids are they not? They are the ones who need to know that it is at the game and how to use it. If your son had to hand it to the coach as a requirement to be on the field, you would be assured that he was safe.
Your son should know that some people wear glasses, some people use a cane, some people are tone deaf and some people carry an EpiPen/Twinject. We all have something. I am grateful it is something that can be avoided and that it isn't something like leukemia or CF.
I hope he has a great playing season! :)

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 9:22 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
This very topic is something that I've been doing some thinking about lately. I'm taking a lot from everyone's comments too. Caroline, does you son know the signs and symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction? Has he had one that he can remember? If you consider your son to be really good at self-protecting where his allergy is concerned on a daily basis, perhaps just a talk to him about why you feel so uneasy about the situation will calm your fears. See what he tells you about the situation and what he's feeling -- perhaps his words will offer you some reassurance that he's not trying to deny his allergy and precautionary measures -- just that he wants some added space and responsibility about it. I would agree that if you and your husband choose not to attend his games, that you train his coaches on how and when to use his epinephrine. I also agree that I'd feel more comfortable if the same adult was responsible for hanging onto it for the duration of every game -- and if that person is absent, then ensure that you have already designated Person B as responsible. Just ensuring that your son is always aware of where his epi is and who he can go to if he needs it. I also agree that everyone should be made aware of his allergy, including teammates -- whether it's the coach's responsibility to inform, or you or your husband's. It might be too much to ask that your son do this with his teammates if they are new to him (given his age). Your son must be quite a player -- I hope he has a great season (and a safe one!).


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 9:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 97
Location: Montreal
Caroline2 wrote:
Cleo -- are you always there at every practice and meet? If not, are you ok with what the coaches know? If so, why do you choose to stay?


Parents are not allowed at swim practices during the week. First, there's no room, second, they've had bad experiences with pushy parents. On Saturday, the kids swim in the competitive pool, and there are bleachers for the parents. So I don't stay, except on Saturdays, in which case, I'm far from the kids anyway. The coaches all have their lifeguard certification. They probably know more than me on how to use the Epipen (I never had to use it). I trust the coaches.

Gymnastics for my DD is different. Her coach is 16 years old, she's a great coach, but she doesn't have any life saving certification. On top of that, my DD is severely asthmatic. She was hospitalised 6 times, for 5 days each, because of collapsed lungs, and stuff like that. The coach has proven already that she does not recognise the start of DD's asthma. So I stay. I'm not always in the gym itself. I go to another room to work, and I peek in every 10 minutes or so.

_________________
11yo boy - peanuts nuts chickpeas
8yo daughter - peanuts, nuts, mustard, eggs, sunflowers (new! ), oral allergy syndrome
husband - pollen of all kinds
me - seafood,, oral allergy syndrome


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 7:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
Posts: 222
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Thanks for all your suggestions! I just love the support that comes from the forum. :D

I think I was a bit emotional yesterday with my reactions. I am 'school parent' and my husband is 'sports parent' and I didn't really think the EpiPen was handled differently. Now that I have thought about it, my son plays his hockey and my husband has the EpiPen. The only place where there is food is in the change room and now that he is getting older only the coaches are allowed in there most of the time. . . yet the Epi stays with my husband. There hasn't been a game or practice that hubby has missed BUT if he does next season I will be the one who is there in the stands with the Epi.

I guess I am also used to my son being quite compliant when it comes to carrying his meds and dealing with his allergy at both home and school. He even seems to have figured out many ways to deal with not eating when others do, and he seriously is not too bothered about it most times, even at birthday parties and celebrations -- he has really matured about it all. It never even occurred to me that he is way different about how he is with his allergy when it comes to sports. Of course he wants to be on an 'even playing field' with his team mates. Sports are such a big part of his life -- and it is so great that food plays a minor role. Being on the rink/field might just be a huge break from the whole thing. . . and I did not realize this until yesterday. Duh!

So we have told his coach and the other parents about his allergy, and how his EpiPen is in his training bag which we will be sure to bring from now on. One of the assistant coaches is a doctor so we do have some faith with the recognition of symptoms. I have also reviewed the EpiPen with the main coach. I am not sure what to do about kid awareness as this is a testy subject with my son. What I know for sure is that now my son is with the older team, Mommy is no longer allowed to sit and watch practices, that is for sure, although games are different. I wish I were brave enough to take on being a coach but it looks like I am going to have to practice letting go...

Sigh. It is hard, ain't it!

Caroline

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son anaphylactic to peanuts


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 10:02 am
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Location: Gatineau
Hi Caroline,

Glad to hear you're feeling better. As is the case with most things, but I find with allergies in particular, once you get out of the panic moment you can usually gain a balanced perspective. It sounds like you've got a good plan, one that respects your needs and your son's (both for protection and independence). Congrats. :)

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ana to peanuts, nuts, eggs, shellfish, bananas
mild asthma and eczema, seasonal allergies


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 9:36 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
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Caroline2 wrote:
One of the assistant coaches is a doctor so we do have some faith with the recognition of symptoms.

How amazing is that!


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