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Ask The Allergy Chef: School Policy, Can't Self Carry an Epi-Pen

Ask The Allergy Chef: Son Can’t Self-Carry Epi-Pen Due to Policy

    My child’s school (county) has a policy that they can’t carry their own Epi-pen. It has to stay in the nurse’s office. Help!

    I’m sorry that you even have to ask this question, and unfortunately, you’re not alone. There are several steps to take in this situation.

    1. Get the MD involved. Make sure there are several extra epi-pens available. Your child’s MD should write a stern note that insists your child can self-carry, or a teacher with them must carry at all times (and be trained on how to use it).

    2. Have a firm but kind word with the county. Explain to them a worst case scenario and use the word death in said statement. Kids can die within minutes. How far is the nurse’s office from the child? What if she’s on break? Who has the key? How is the nurse notified? What if the nurse is helping another student in a different classroom?

    I’d follow up with a simple question: are kids allowed to self-carry inhalers? Those are life saving medical devices as well.

    Be sure to word vomit all over the place on why this is a terrible policy. This is also a good time to remind them about the recent child deaths from anaphylaxis, as well as lawsuits that could come their way with this kind of policy. When we as parents start using words like death and lawsuit, people tend to listen.

    3. If 1 and 2 don’t work, get your kid into a different school outside of that county. I don’t say this lightly, but it sounds like in your case, this is NOT safe. Either homeschool, or new county, but I wouldn’t budge. If you go this route, make sure the county is well aware of why you had to make the move.

    4. If this were me, I’d be quoting every law on my side, I’d take it up the flag pole all the way to the mayor and maybe further, I’d look into the free advocate/law resources from FAACT, and I’d be that parent. The one who takes this as far as necessary to make sure that the county law and even the state law changes for all the kids who need it.

    You see, it’s moments like these where we as parents have the chance to make a huge change in the world. Look at Elijah’s Law and all the other laws with a child’s name attached to it. Something happened to those kids and families, and the parents made sure it would never happen again. Yeah, I’m that kind of parent. If you’re not, that’s OK, but at least be willing to write letters and complain, and make sure you’re heard. Every child has a right to learn safely, yours included.

    I genuinely hope you’re able to create change for you child.
    ~The Allergy Chef

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