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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:03 pm
Posts: 3
I have come across a situation with our nursery school for which I am searching for a solution and I thought you may be able to provide me with some insight about what has been done by those who have gone before. My 3 year old (peanutter) is in a nursery school with 16 kids (2 with EpipenJr), two teachers and a parent volunteer supervising. The current policy for taking epipens on the playground is to leave them in a central "emergency basket" which is left out on the playground in a central location while the children play outdoors. The reasoning was because they are concerned that the teacher wearing the Epipens on their body may leave to take another child to the washroom and the medicine would leave the play area with the teacher and not be available to the child who needs it. Obviously, this is not an ideal situation, but the teacher believes I am being an overzealous helicopter parent (as does my husband). It just crossed my mind that the epipens are temperature sensitive (I understand that EpiPen/EpiPen Jr. should be stored at 25ºC (77ºF). However, excursions in the range of 15º–30ºC (59º–86ºF) are permitted). While I have insisted on ours being in a somewhat insulated belt pack marked with our child's name instead of rolling around loose in a shared bag with other emergency supplies and other epipens, the temperature is dipping below zero degrees while they are just sitting out in the weather for about an hour at a time (in Toronto winter). I would rather not have to regularly monitor the medicine for temperature damage (which would be difficult to determine) and replace it multiple times if there is another solution. I have a few ideas for suitable temperature proof storage container to use to store the medicine at a stable temperature while outdoors (winter and summer) but before I pitch the idea to the difficult teacher I thought I would do more research to find out what other schools do in this situation.

Do you have any idea what happens in other school situations with children this young who are not yet wearing their medicine under their jacket themselves? Should I be insisting on him wearing his Epipen himself outdoors at the age of 3.5? He won't do it reliably yet and is likely to object. Is it typical for teachers to refuse to wear the epipens on their person (ie under their jackets) especially if they have multiple epipens to carry? Any suggestions?

_________________
Mom of peanut allergic 3 yr old son, eczema, reactive airways, stinging insect status concerning (swelling)
1 yr old daughter with allergy status unknown, untested, never exposed.
No known family history of allergies/anaphylaxis.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:35 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
DS will be in Jr K in September. I already talked to the school and about how I want DS wear his belt at all times himself. He has worn it since this summer when we go out so he is used to it now and doesn't even pay any attention to it. I know that on a body/under a coat the epipen is fine temp. wise, in a basket I would also be worried about the temp. It does get very cold here (as in Toronto). Being outside once or twice might not be an issue but every day for an hour would make me really start to worry.
:huggy Glad you found us. If you have any tips for Jr K I need them, starting to sweat about September!!!

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:00 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:57 am
Posts: 13
While there has always been debate about when a child is ready to wear their epi-pen themselves, we had my son (egg, milk, peanut) wear his from the time he could walk and go to nursery school, just the little Medic-Alert pouch, worn around his waist. While the responsibility for administering was never his responsibility at that age, wearing it and knowing it would save him if he needed it, and definitely always giving him the message (which we learned while in Childrens Hosp from a very helpful nurse) that this medicine is not a choice or an option when it comes to saving his life this is something that he needs to wear, and not let anyone ever play with. My son (now 8) just stopped by here and I told him what I was responding to and he says to add "actually, I don't even feel it there". Many times, he has actually gone to bed with it on - oops - He is so used to it that it is just part of him. Now, I know that at 3 or 4 or 5, some children cannot do this, but, I did find that the more my son knew about what it was for and would do, and even a little fear of if I didn't have it, made this seem the absolute best and safest choice. The earlier they learn what it's for, how important it is, and how to wear it with pride and without fear, the better off they are as they go further into the school years, and the easier it is when they get to the older years.

_________________
Son - 8yrs old, eggs, milk, peanuts, passed baked egg and milk challenge
Rast still high for egg and milk so no raw forms
Asthma, Penicillan, Hot/Cold Urticaria (Son8)
Son - 6 yrs old - no allergies or asthma (Son6)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:12 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:03 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks for your posts. I am getting the impression that the current norm is that the earlier the child is trained to carry their own medicine at school and drop-off activities, the better. I will have to be more insistent with the "candy teacher", as I fondly call her (she wore an M&M costume at Halloween), and impress upon her that their current system is flawed and atypical. It will be a rough transition for my kid who will resist wearing the medicine pouch, as he occasionally resists wearing his medic alert sport wristband ("watch") to class and tears it off promptly afterwards saying it's itchy. He can now operate the clasp on the wristband himself, so I worry he will drop it or hide it so he won't have to wear it. That is why I believe he will do the same with a belt pack of medicine. I guess it means I must have a few serious and carefully worded sit downs with my kids and my husband, as well as the teachers to impress upon them that this is not optional. Any more suggestions are welcome...Thanks again!

_________________
Mom of peanut allergic 3 yr old son, eczema, reactive airways, stinging insect status concerning (swelling)
1 yr old daughter with allergy status unknown, untested, never exposed.
No known family history of allergies/anaphylaxis.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:53 am
Posts: 207
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Yes, I would say the earlier you introduce wearing both the bracelet & the Epipen the better. If he's wearing it outside under a winterjacket & show pants, I'm hard pressed to believe he'll even know it's there after a minute or two. As for the bracelet, our son wore the standard stainless bracelet that he couldn't take off himself for many years until we purchased a sport model. Again, the light weight unobtrusive nature of the original may be easier for little wrists to manage.

Just like we don't let our children decide whether to wear a seatbelt or helmet, Epipens & MedicAlert bracelets are not optional.

_________________
adult son allergic to peanuts, most tree nuts, eggs and penicillin.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
When DS got his first medic alert bracelet at 12 months old we called it his 'allergy bling' and made a big deal out of it. It is such a part of him that a few months ago when we changed the bracelet and he took it off for 10 min. he freaked out not having it on. Last week at DD's school he noticed that my daughter's teacher had a medic alert bracelet on. He kept saying 'same thing'. Your son is a little older, maybe really play up how cool the bracelet is. Kyle Dine wears the sport band medic alert bracelet, you can see it in his picture, maybe point that out and make that a big deal also.

DS is the most curious, mischevious 3 year old out there and amazingly he has not once every even tried to open the end epi pouch. Like Jesko said it just becomes part them, our DS has not fussed once since we started having him wear it.

And remember...it is YOUR choice not the teachers choice if you wish for your child to wear their auto injector on their person.

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 799
Location: Vancouver, BC
My 4yo son has also been wearing his own epipens in a Kozyepi since he started preschool, and yes, we wear it under the jacket in cold weather. There are other kids who don't wear theirs, but I feel that it's safest, for a few different reasons, for my kids to keep them on their person, so that's what we do.

_________________
DD 2004 Allergy to peanuts, egg, sesame, and new: lentils and chick peas
DS 2006 Allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, kiwi fruit, eczema


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
BusyB, look at some of the carriers available. Cut it down to a few choices, then let your ds have the final decision. if he picks it, he might be a bit more willing to wear it.

_________________
self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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