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August 10, 2008

Epi-Pens and School Field Trips

Since I know I will not be able to go on every field trip during the school year, I’ve started doing something which I find valuable as my child gets older. Our school has a form which authorizes the student to carry medication and/or self medicate while at school. Although my child is too young to give herself the Epi-Pen, I have the physician complete the form anyway. This allows my daughter to carry her Epi-Pens from home to school on field trip days. It serves several purposes. First, the teacher doesn’t have to remember to bring along the Epi-Pens from school; which conveniently guarantees that the teacher will not forget to replace the Epi-Pens in the classroom after the field trip. I also know that my child will for sure have two Epi-Pens available in case of an emergency, and I don't have to rely on the teacher to remember to bring both Epi-Pens from school (since one is in the classroom and the other is in the office). It also frees me up from having to meet the teacher the morning of the field trip to hand over the Epi-Pens. If I was available that morning, I would probably be going on the field trip!!

Those of you with small children are probably thinking that I’m nuts. It’s true; to me this works well only as my child gets older. I would not trust a younger child to carry Epi-Pens without adult supervision. I trust my own child because she’s grown up with the Epi-Pen and understands that it is not a toy. I don’t however trust all of the other kids. Also, the older my child gets, the more parents I get to know in her classes. That means there is usually at least one parent going on the field trip whom I’ve already educated about food allergies. So I feel comfortable sending in the Epi-Pen without meeting the parent face to face. Also, since the teacher obviously goes along on the outing, there are at least two people who could respond in case of an emergency.

This works well for us and minimizes my stress over school field trips. It also stops my urge of calling my child in sick the morning of the field trip because it's just easier than figuring out the flow of the day! I'm sure we've all been there... : )

Posted by Ann Marie at August 10, 2008 2:31 PM


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