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Epi pen and school

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#1 Zipper

Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:22 PM

My DD 4 has an anaphylaxis to tree nuts and has an epi pen with her at all times.  Her current school (kindy now and prep next year - on the same campus) has her pen in the classroom and she carries it with her when they go to the big school etc.  For next year when in prep the duty playground teacher carries a first aid kit which has an epi pen in it.  I feel very comfortable with this arrangement as she can play normally without her pen around her waist etc.  Knowing my DD she would hate to have it with her all the time especially in the playground.

We are thinking about changing her school to one where the child is responsible for carrying the pen around their waist at all times.  I'm a bit apprehensive about this as I know she would really hate to have it with her at all times.  I understand that she will have to take more responsibilty as she grows older, but I'm concerned about her being singled out and loosing it etc.  Epi pens are not cheap!  This school is not very strict about being nut free, whereas her current school is.

Her current school is ALOT more expensive and further away than the school we are considering.

My question is would you change schools based on the above??

I'm in two minds and really not sure what to do!   unsure.gif

#2 idignantlyright

Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:35 PM

Can you make an extra pocket in her uniform especially for the epi pen?

#3 Phascogale

Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:35 PM

I think I'd prefer the epi pen to be on my child than carried with a teacher.  What is she going to do when the teacher is in another part of the yard dealing with something/someone else and it takes 5 minutes to get to your child or longer?  You're better off using the epi pen when you're not sure than not using it till it's too late ie if a child (or her friends) had to make the decision to use it.  You can get pretty small bum bags that don't really impact on a child.  I see quite a few kids carrying small bags for various reasons including diabetes and not just allergies.  Kids get used to this very quickly.  She's unlikely to get singled out or it will be more out of curiosity.

Even though your daughters current school is strict on nuts, not everyone is going to be so you may get a bit complacent about it (this is the reason that anaphalaxis australia doesn't recommend nut (or any food) bans) when you reality you have to continue to be vigilant.  

When it comes to allergies creches, kindergartens and possibly prep classes are a lot stricter with food allergies than when kids get older.  So I wouldn't chose a school based on how you see their nut policy from the outside.  I'd talk to them and see what they can do for you.

Kids also get very good at managing their own allergies as they get older ie always asking whether there is an ingredient they are allergic to if someone offers them food and often just refusing anyway (not speaking for every child, just what I've seen).

As for the other bits.  It gets very draining if you have to drive your child to school for the next 13 years if it's a reasonable distance away - is there a bus she can catch (maybe not in FYOS but as she gets older?)  And it has to be affordable.  I wouldn't get myself into debt just to keep her in this school if it's going to affect your quality of life and make you resent everything about it.

#4 funandlaughter

Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:38 PM

I think I would be wanting my daughter to carry an epi pen at all times on her. Teachers can get tied up with other kids and could easily miss your DD if she needed help.

Any school closer to home is a win in my personal opinion

#5 SkeptiFERAL

Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:59 PM

Get her an SPI Belt or a fly belt and she will hardly know it is there.

#6 siemp

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:03 PM

DS has to wear his Epi pens and is going into Prep next year.

This is exactly what I want, DS is ANA to insect bites -- what if he got bitten and a teacher was more than 90 seconds away? Its not worth thinking about.

He knows how to administer an Epi-pen (in theory) so I would rather it with him, than with the teacher on duty.

#7 flopsy

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:11 PM

I would prefer my child to carry it with them anyway. You can get some pretty discreet belts or also leg straps (similar to armbands for ipods) that might be less invasive for her.

#8 Mummy2RyanandAlex

Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:40 PM

My son is 4 and in kinder at the moment, prep next year. He has a peanut allergy. The epipen is kept in the office. At the start of the year it was kept in the classroom, I was very happy with that and have no idea why it changed.

#9 Expelliarmus

Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:05 PM

Honest question, I was under the impression that the teacher needed to administer the Epi Pen - so what are the advantages of having it with the child - the child's friends would need to fetch the teacher anyway, wouldn't they, to administer it?

Is it possible for a child having a reaction to administer it to themselves?

#10 Canberra Chick

Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:25 AM

At DS's ACT public primary, the teacher in the yard or classroom has it. I am happy with this as DS is of an age that he might panic and not administer it. At high school he carries it.

#11 Zipper

Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:57 AM

QUOTE (howdo @ 14/11/2012, 09:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Honest question, I was under the impression that the teacher needed to administer the Epi Pen - so what are the advantages of having it with the child - the child's friends would need to fetch the teacher anyway, wouldn't they, to administer it?

Is it possible for a child having a reaction to administer it to themselves?

This was my concern!  There is absolutely no way my child (she's 4)would be able to administer the epipen correctly.  When any child is gasping for breath I very much doubt they or thier friends would be able to administer is correctly.  She might get a little bit of the adrenaline in but pull it out too early to get the full dose.  But I suppose some is better than none.

We have settled on the decision to change their school, but we maybe able to get them to rethink their policy on teachers not carrying epipens.

Thanks everyone!

#12 siemp

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:47 AM

Honest question, I was under the impression that the teacher needed to administer the Epi Pen - so what are the advantages of having it with the child - the child's friends would need to fetch the teacher anyway, wouldn't they, to administer it?

Is it possible for a child having a reaction to administer it to themselves?

DS, in theory (as in has been trained, has practiced with the training pen and questioned on steps etc), can administer his own, he also has some friends who have also been trained in what to do if he needs it. It's not ideal and I would always prefer an adult to administer if given the choice. BUT he has 90 seconds from the moment he is bitten... If he is at least trained, I can at least hope, if an adult isn't within 90 seconds, he can buy himself some time for an adult to get there and give him a full dose.

Its about managing the risk, and making his condition livable without literally keeping him in a bubble.

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