Here’s a little quandry we’ve encountered with our two daughters and the four EpiPens that we need to carry everywhere. How to carry them? Where to carry them?
When children are younger and not yet potty trained, carrying an auto-injector is not really a problem. You are already hauling around a diaper bag of some sort, so you simply throw the EpiPens in them! No biggie.
However, now that we have a five year old who’s involved in more activities and doesn’t necessarily always need a bag of some sort, bringing our EpiPen along with us takes more forethought and planning. If we’re going to church on Sunday, we have to bring snacks for her to eat in her class, so we put the EpiPens in her little backpack with her snack. If we’re going to the park, I’ll put Izzy’s EpiPens in Tessa’s diaper bag, along with Tessa’s. However, if Izzy or Tessa is running a quick errand with me or my husband, we don’t like to haul an extra backpack or diaper bag. So, the injectors get moved to my purse, to Izzy’s little backpack, to our youngest’s diaper bag, to my husbands pants pockets, and back again.
Once, when Izzy and I jetted off to her friend’s birthday party, gifts in hand, I realized in a panic that we didn’t bring Izzy’s EpiPens with us. When Izzy started her gymnastics/ballet classes this summer, we had to remember to put her EpiPens in her tote bag with all of her other class accessories. I’ve started to get a bit more nervous about us being disorganized with our EpiPens.
In addition, my husband always feels awkward about where to carry the pens. I can always choose a bigger purse if I need to throw in the EpiPens, but if Matt has to go somewhere, having his pockets bulging with four EpiPens is not so appealing. Maybe he should go for the man-purse option? 😉
Apparently, being disorganized (or complacent) about carrying auto-injectors is not just my problem. About one year ago,the Kids With Food Allergies site (a division of the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, and one of the go-to medically reviewed resources for food allergy research) posted an article on their blog entitled “A Disappointing Reality: Many Families of Food-Allergic Kids Are Not Carrying Epinephrine.” Though this article discusses a preliminary survey of only thirty-five families at a children’s hospital allergy clinic, the study raises a concern about how many people don’t keep their auto-injectors handy.
As a result of all this, I got a little more serious about researching some products and options for carrying auto-injectors. Here are some of the better resources I’ve found:
EpiPen official company website – Don’t ask me why I never discovered this before, but the makers of the EpiPen® allow you to register all of your EpiPens or Auvi-Q devices. As part of the registration process, you receive a free carrying case and you can automatically get email reminders for replacing your injectors when they expire, etc. I just registered all four of our EpiPens!
AllerMates – This is an AWESOME company! They have a few carrying pouches or bags from which to choose, and they also have some customizable allergy bracelets for those kids with multiple food allergies like us. An experienced mom founded this company, so you know the products and advice are actually practical. 🙂
Blue Bear Aware – A nice variety of pouches for the different types of auto-injectors here. They even have some different colors and graphics on some of the pouches to make them more appealing to kids. Their “Kids’ SPIbelts” for carrying injectors on the body are the only ones of this type that I’ve seen specifically designed to fit children.
Activeaide – This company has a variety of carrying cases for allergy and asthma medical products. Nothing fancy, but they would serve the purpose. They have regular, “city-style” and sport-style auto-injector cases, and some “Bushmates” stuffed animal style carrying cases for little kids.
ConcealedEpi and Omaxcare– These are affiliated companies that only sell cases meant for carrying auto-injectors on your body in a discreet way: around the waist or leg. I can see this being really useful for older kids or adults when playing sports, going on hikes, camping, running marathons, etc.
Epi-Essentials and Carry Nine – These two companies carry stylish, higher end carrying cases or bags for all types of injectors or medications. Epi-Essentials has some super-cute handbags that would be perfect for young adult girls, for example. Prepare yourself, though…the price tags reflect the higher-end materials and designs. 🙂
Of course, having a carrying case is one step towards being more organized with our EpiPens. Remembering to take the cases is another! Check out this mom’s solution to help her older kids take their injectors with them. I’m thinking we need to try a variation on her idea and post a sign on our doors or maybe even in our cars.
What carrying cases do you use? Do you have any practical solutions for either carrying your injectors or remembering to take them with you as you head out the door?