epi-pen and growing independence heading towards secondary school(9 Posts)
DS is 10 and only has 18 months until secondary school. He has minimal allergies to kiwi, pine nut and apple. His nut allergies seem to have tailed off.
How do I support him to manage with his allergies as he grows up? He's slightly anxious already which may make him sensibly cautious and not too gung-ho when he's out with mates . Possibly.
How do secondary age kids manage allergies?
What does he do now with his epi pen when out without you ?
If he's already cautious with trying / eating foods, then you probably don't have cause to worry about that side. When he goes to secondary, you need to discuss his care plan with the school, and you need to get him thinking about who needs to know, and why, and where he will keep his epi pen and in what.
I teach a student with a severe nut allergy. She always has an epipen with her (in her pencil case or her bag). I have had epipen training so I can inject her tho she would probably be able to do it herself.
She obviously knows not to eat nuts etc but the school is not a nut-free zone (would be impossible to police) so I suppose the possibility of a reaction is there.
My daughter had a serious reaction in her first term at high school when It was decided the class would all make protein bars made from seeds bound together with peanut butter! She didn't make any but obviously there was peanut butter all over the place and she came into contact with it.
Generally though she is very cautious about food. Takes a packed lunch, checks all labels, has her epipens with her all the time. Her friends don't eat peanuts around her. As long as the school are aware (unlike mine, although they HAD obviously been told about her allergies, clearly they didn't really understand what that meant) I'm sure he will be fine. The biggest danger with kids that age is not having their epipen with them when they're out with friends.
He's unlikely to be the only one with allergies. On my daughter's first day the nurse was doing the rounds collecting epipens from those who wanted to leave one at school. She had quite a handful!
My dd transferred from primary to secondary without any issues, all went so well. I do second plenty of communication with secondary school. My primary was good as gold passing all the information on though and secondary made appointments with me to arrange care plan. They were fab and very thorough. Dds primary was nut free for her but secondary was not but we have had no issues. Mind you our secondary never done any cooking classes with nuts, part of their policy I think, which gave us more peace of mind for dd cooking. She would take her own ingredients and join in. I would communicate with the cooking teacher regularly via emails. All very helpful.
It was always arranged that dd would take her own packed lunches. So that ruled out those issues with food and she had a pretty good understanding of what she could and could not eat anyways.
We were extremely strict at primary age and never let her eat out anywhere. Then when she moved up schools we decided to let her experiment with the mac Donalds and pizza huts ect so she could atleast do safer options with mates. Generally she always, like today, heads off with rucksack containing med kit, some snacks, water, money, phone and spare battery pack ect and joins in as much as anyone else. She has medic alert necklace/sports band but like today has gone off without it (but has the card in her bag with details anyways). My dd has had to cope with these issues from a toddler so is very aware. Also has vast array of food issues but alls well. Goodluck.
We pushed DS primary school hard to let him have more supervised independence in Yr6 and got Cubs/Scouts and close friends on board as well. We talked to DS about the fact that at secondary he'd be responsible for his epi-pen and in a position where he had to make the right choices eg buying snacks on the way to/from school by himself and that he had to be responsible or he risked a reaction.
I spoke with the parents of his closest friends - the ones he walked to/from school with - and gave them basics as to what a reaction would look like etc. All we asked of them was that their children knew if DS looked like he was having a reaction they needed to call 999 immediately and not faff about. We got DS a medic alert type band as well that he always wears.
For school we asked them to let him be responsible for his epipen on trips and around school (the latter was hard to get agreement for) but we insisted it was part of them prepping him for secondary school just as much as any other 'increasing independence'. I also let DS learn a couple of lessons the 'hard way' in that we told him he was responsible for his epipen when we left the house - one time I knew he hadn't got it and so drove part way to the cinema and then asked him - by the time we'd turned round and got it we missed the film. He was really upset but he's a hell of a lot better at remembering it now!
You know when you start a thread in a mild panic then totally forget to come back to it . Thanks all, I'll have a read.
rock that's a good idea about seeing if his primary will allow him to carry an epi-pen with him.
He doesn't take it when he plays at neighbours houses but does take it on play dates. I might invest in another epi-pen set that he has to be responsible for.
My DS the same age! His school v keen on independence so DS has always carried his own since the age of 5 [yes I did get another set and leave them with school nurse as well grin]
Have a look at Anphylaxis campaign website - lots of good ideas on their - get him to watch them Takethekit video too and train up his friends which I have started doing - they love the responsibility and thought of being able to inject one of their friends - I give them live but expired epipens to use on oranges and let DS himself train them [with assistance from me in a Debbie McGee like role!]
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