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Leaving a young anaphylatic child with friends - do you leave epipen as well?

(37 Posts)
Gwu Fri 13-Jul-07 12:26:47

Hi There

DS has an epipen in case he drinks milk. This has only ever happened twice in his whole life and he's 4 y.o. One time was my fault (I gave him a few mouthfuls of Krispy Kreme and the other time this dumb ass relative gave him a few mouthfuls of her tea as she forgot he was allergic to milk).

He's at the age where I can leave him at friend's houses. Of course I'll tell the parent about his no touch, no drink food policy and about his severe reaction to milk but do I leave the inhaler, antihistamines and epipen as well and tell them how to use it and basically, scare the life out of them so that he never gets an invite again? I'll be about a 15 min walk away and contactable by phone.

What do you mums of anaphylatic children do? I know this is such a stupid question and a dumb thing to worry about given everything else?

Thanks in advance.


NorbertStanleyFletcher Fri 13-Jul-07 12:29:00

I don't know what other mums of anaphylatic children do, but if it was me you were leaving him with I would want the pen, and it wouldn't put me off inviting him again.

LazyLineLegilimens Fri 13-Jul-07 12:34:07

Personally I would talk to them beforehand, this will give you a chance to explain everything and give them a chance to ask questions.

I guess you have to prepare yourself that they may not want him over as they may be scared that they will accidentally give him something and it will all be their fault.

LazyLineLegilimens Fri 13-Jul-07 12:34:35

I would want the pen, BTW>

And I would invite him back, regardless.

Hathor Fri 13-Jul-07 12:35:54

Yes I would want the pen and chat on how to use it and that I should not worry as 1 in a million chance. I would not be put off inviting him again.

alison222 Fri 13-Jul-07 13:02:37

I send the pens, the antihistamines etc. I have always chatted with the parents first. We have discussed what food DS is allowed, then I put a letter in the bag with his medicines detailing what exactly he is allergic to, what happens if he gets an allergic reaction, what to do and my phone numbers just in case they need to refer to it. DS is 6 now, but the first time he went to someones house without me he was 4 too.

He does get repeat invites too in fact he is going to one of these today

clapton Fri 13-Jul-07 13:02:48

I would most certainly want the pen, and a chat with you on how best to deal with the situation. As other people have mentioned, it would not put me off inviting him back either.

doonstar Fri 13-Jul-07 13:12:06

Have you heard about Star Allergy Alerts? They're an Australian range of allergy shirts, stickers, badges, epipen pouches and they have fantastic medical alert bracelets for kids... Their website is Really cute designs!!

brimfull Fri 13-Jul-07 13:18:15

I have a ds with epipen,I have left him with close friends who I have instructed on use of pen.
I think when he starts being invited to friends houses more (hopefully) when he starts school I will give the pen and medicine.I will also give a few snacks and drink that I know is safe to make it easier for them.
Agree with you that it all becomes a bit scary and I sometomes feel I'm being overly dramatic when I knwo I'm not.Just something we need to get used to.

Wimmilymorris Fri 13-Jul-07 13:23:02

All three of my children are anaphylactic. Their friends' parents have always been very good about taking responsibility for the epipens/inhalers etc. I do feel awkward the first time I'm explaining to a new friend's mum (but that's probably more self-consciousness on my part than anything else). I have to say it's never come in the way of any of the children's friendships and I'm really grateful to all those parents who have listened and taken in the information so that my children aren't left out.

I would be too worried to leave them without their medication. It's when they're are being cared for by somebody who's not used to dealing with the whole allergy thing on a daily basis that they're most at risk of accidential exposure. Even if you're fifteen minutes away, in an emergency, that might not be fast enough.

On the prevention side, I usually give the mum a "treat" pack with my childrens' biscuits, snacks etc. If they are staying at the friend's for tea, I'll agree in advance with the mum what they're going to have. I also leave a little laminated card with simple instructions on how/when to use the medication so that the mum can quickly look at it if needed.

Good luck.

geekgirl Fri 13-Jul-07 13:26:20

dd1 has a friend with a peanut allergy, his mum has always left a box with pen, inhaler and piriton and printed instructions. It's never put me off at all, if anything it makes me feel more at ease when he's under my supervision.

peanutbear Fri 13-Jul-07 13:27:52

If he came to my house I would think I would like the pen just incase and he would be more than welcome

Julia76 Fri 13-Jul-07 18:54:22

I have a child anaphylactic to peanuts & I always leave the Epipen with whom ever is looking after him. The epipen needs to be with him at all times. I also find people get put off by my sons allergy & having to be responsable with medication etc in case of an reaction or anaphylaxis.

Julia76 Fri 13-Jul-07 18:58:02

Obviousally leave inhaler & anti histamine too........

tatt Sat 14-Jul-07 10:29:23

an epipen is no use if it isn't with the child. If they have an anaphylactic reaction you only have minutes to respond. Therefore I always left the epipen and used to get people to practise with a trainer pen. It does mean fewer people will have them but better that than a dead child.

Now they are older and meeting people we don't know as well they take their epipen but I don't instruct the parents in how to use it.

teafortwoandtwofortea Sat 14-Jul-07 10:34:44

Yes, the pen should be with the person who is supervising the child at all times, whther at home, at a friends, nursery or school. It wouldn't put me off having a child round to play - DS1 has a friend (age 2.7) and she has one.

There have only been 2 deaths from anaphylactic shock in the PCT where I work, both were known food allergies, both people checked with the restaurant staff they were served by that the food they were allergic to was not present and neither had their pens with them. Entirely preventable and very sad - we should all learn from them and be trained to use epipens IMO.

Julia76 Sat 14-Jul-07 12:31:11

May contirdict myself here but going to ask anyway. The only time my ds has not got epipen with him is when he walks round to his friends house. They live few minuts away. 3 streets away. My ds(8) regularly walks to his friends. My friend phones me to let me know he has arrived & when he is on his way home so I know. But his Epipen is always at home with me whilst he is at their house. I should send the epipen/s round with him shouldnt I? Silly question as I know the answer. As Tatt said, its no use not with the person who needs it. Cant believe all this time I have not sent the Epipen round with him. I suppose I have always been worried if he is responsiable enough to take charge of having it.

tatt Sun 15-Jul-07 08:54:52

If he's responsible enough to walk around on his own isn't he ready to start taking responsibility for his epipen? Some people have a special peg near the door and hang a bag there so it becomes habit to take it when you go out. We have a rule - no epipen no food. I don't think mine has ever stuck to it when out of my sight but it's something you could tell your friend.

Ariela Sun 15-Jul-07 22:44:06

One of DDs friends is 7 and has charge of her own Epipen, but it does go everywhere with her in its own bag. I do know how to use it from previous First Aid training but have never been shown by the mum (who doesn't know I was trained in FA years ago), but then the girl herself is a very grown up sensible type and I'm sure she wouldn't eat anything she was doubtful of and also she would know to self administer.
I have to say her mum always says 'she'll be fine and knows what to do, but I'm leaving this is just in case she needs it although I'm sure you won't actually have to use it'

Doesn't put me off inviting her round (she's lovely!) although I tend to feed them indoors and not let them eat tea in the garden in case of wasp stings after this sort of time of year!

I would definitely definitely leave it with him those few minutes - getting hold of you to come round in the other parents mind could be dangerous/fatal so from my point of view the reassurance it's there is better than the worry 'what if something happens and I can't get you to come quick enough'

Julia76 Mon 16-Jul-07 09:12:57

What about when he walks himself to school then? My eldest ds(11) quite often walks him to school, although this will be less often when my ds(11) starts secondary school in September and then I will have to take ds(8) more regualrly. Do you think he should have it in his bag incase he ever needs it when walking to school. My ds(11) has been shown how to use it & would be confident enough to if he felt necessary & knows what signs to look out for etc. Im just not sure how the school would react knowing that he had his epipens etc in his school bag, as if they looked after them all day, he may forget to bring them home after school, then not have them for home. I think I need to have a chat with my ds(8) & show him what to do in the event of needing it. I just worry about him having it as i feel he is not yet responsiable to have charge of it, but then saying that I suppose then I need to be walking him around to his friends house & to school in that case. I worry incse someone finds out he has got Epipen's & trys taking them off him or even worse injecting him to see what happens.

tatt Mon 16-Jul-07 14:13:07

does he eat on the way to school? If so he needs it with him if not he still does technically but he has more risk of being run over.

At primary we had 2 at home, 2 at school so you didn't have to worry about forgetting to take them/ bring them home. If she was going to someone else's home after school she took one of the home ones in her school bag. It was never needed.

Initially I used to show parents because I didn't think my child was strong enough to do it if needed. The real thing is much easier to use than a practise pen.

Do you practise on fruit with out of date pens? Once your child can physically use one they ought to be trained to do so.

Julia76 Tue 17-Jul-07 09:37:03

He does not eat on the way to school, hoewever becasue of his anaphylactic in the past being from cross contaminaton, he needs to be extremly careful as he could have a reacton just by obviously touching someone who has been eating peanuts or crunchy nut cornflakes etc. His cp said that it could be that a reaction could be set off just by slight contact or even just by being in the same room as peanuts. Anyway, he is a very touchy feely child, & I worry that he will cuddle or touch someone whic will then result in needing his medication. He is getting more responsiable but he has some special needs & is being refered as we & the school feel he may have a behavioural problem. Nothing major but we tihnk their are eliments there. I had a qucik talk wit him this am &about starting to carry his epipens when walkig to school & his friends & told him we would talk later. My other ds(11) said he would look after him & epipens if I wanted him to but I wll discuss tihngs further with them later.

Julia76 Tue 17-Jul-07 09:40:17

I forgot to say. My mil has practised on fruit. Good job I sujested it as she did not do it right but hopefully she now knows the right way. I have had to administer the real thing so I know what & how to administer it. I did tell my ds's this am that they could practise on an orange so that in the event of him needing it, the both knew what to do. Tatt, what do you do when you have used the out of date pens for practising on orange's? Do you take them to the chemist to dispose off?

tatt Tue 17-Jul-07 19:59:25

Confession time - I still have one here, with a cork on the end and back in the tube . I have tried our gp who said take them to the pharmacy. The pharmacy seemed a bit bemused last time so I didn't rush there with this one. I've also given one to the school nurse and asked her to dispose of it for me (it had been used during school training). I'm very careful about disposing of the orange, though.

I didn't realise until I practised on fruit what a kick they had, so I'm glad I did that before using one in earnest.

If I couldn't trust my child to carry their epipen I wouldn't let them walk to school on their own. First time they were allowed out I was terrified but you have to let them go sometimes.

hellish Wed 18-Jul-07 02:51:40

My dd1 takes her epi pen to school with her in a special little pouch that can go round the waist or over one shoulder.

She is 4 and carries it at all times whilst at school. There is a second one for her in the school office but the school insisted that she have one with her at all times too.

At first I thought this was over the top, but she hasn't had a problem at all with this and now I'm glad, if she was in the hall/ in the library/ on the playing field when she needed it, how could the teacher leave the class to get the epipen / take her to the office to get it?

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