How do I get my 14 year old to carry and USE his epipen?

Fran - posted on 04/20/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )




The day we made him carry it he didn't use it and someone called 911. He doesn't go anywhere, doesn't watch TV and is they type of kid who wouldn't mind sitting there all day doing nothing and he wouldn't mind sitting there all weekend. When we forced him to carry it one time we tied it to his book bag with chains but he didn't use it and the school cannot supervise him 24/7. He said no he will not use it and we tried 7 months to carry his epipen and for the whole time he sat there and did nothing. He has severe, multiple food allergies. This prevented us from going on a family vacation which isn't fair to the other kids.


Jodi - posted on 04/20/2013




I guess you can't force him to carry it unless you are supervising him 24/7. It seems you have already discussed it with him, and he is already fully aware of the consequences.

With regard to calling 911, it is generally part of the action plan for anaphylaxis anyway, even if he DID have an EpiPen. Any episode where anaphylaxis has occurred, medical attention is needed. So even if he had the EpiPen in this instance, chances are, the ambulance still would have been called.

I am not sure I understand about the family vacation thing. Is it the food allergies or the fact that he refuses to carry an EpiPen preventing your family vacations?


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Heidi - posted on 07/12/2014




Maybe he is scared, of the allergies, and/or the epipen. At home he doesn't have to worry about either. I don't know if I could give myself a shot with one of those. My understanding is that it is a huge dose of epinephrine that is intended to keep you alive until you get to the hospital, not a replacement for going to the hospital. Maybe you could find a support group for him, and you. Other kids with the same allergy situation would mean other homes where he wouldn't have to worry and other teens who could relate. Good luck. I would not think it unreasonable for the school to keep an extra in the office, but he should have his own too.

Tee - posted on 04/21/2013




Why doesn't the school have an epipen for him? Now my son did not have food allergies but is allergic to many medications (almost all antibiotics, pain meds, bees, spider bites etc and once he received his epipen the school always had one in school office or nurses office from grade k to 12 along with whoever was listed as an emergency contact, was bringing him - picking him up from school etc. It could be a matter of he doesn't think the reaction is severe enough to need it. With my son we knew the stages and degrees of swelling (eyes swollen, nose swollen still ok, lips swelling meant that the throat was about to swell shut) to determine how bad the reaction was BUT 911 was always called. His first reaction was the most severe with him coding in the ambulance enroute to the hospital. The fact that he needed the epipen to be carried and his allergies DID NOT stop the show and we still carried out our normal lives. The school HAS to call 911 and would have called 911 even if he would have had it and used it - legal issues if they don't.

Dove - posted on 04/20/2013




How does him having multiple food allergies or not carrying/using the epi-pen prevent you from taking a family vacation. You have been dealing with this for 14 years, right? What did you do when he was little? Sounds like he just needs to be supervised and treated like a child. He is old enough to take this responsibility on himself, but if he doesn't.... just supervise him or keep him home.

I agree with Jodi about the 911 call. The school could get in HUGE trouble if they didn't take that precaution... with or without the epi-pen use.

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