With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life.

10 December 2009

How to Restrain a Child Who Refuses the Epipen

Thanita of Vickies Ickies wrote on a topic I hadn't ever considered--how to restrain a child who refuses the epipen--in her post Just When I Thought I've Experienced It All. Please take a look at her post. Has anyone else run into this problem? How did you deal with it? Any thoughts? Thank you, Thanita, for sharing this disturbing and personal story--you raise some very important questions.


Linda Coss said...

Here's the comment I left on Thanita's blog:

I'm so sorry you and your child had such a terrible experience, and I'm glad he's okay now.

I don't know how old your child is, so this may or may not be helpful (I wasn't clear as to whether your child is currently 14 and over 100 pounds, or if you're just projecting into the future).

When my son was very young (say, preschool age), our allergist's instructions as to how to administer the EpiPen assumed that the child would be hysterical and need to be restrained. He recommended that you:
1. Lie the child down on his back
2. Sort of lay down next to him, facing his feet.
3. Lean your left arm across his torso (hopefully pinning his arms), resting your hand on his left leg. Of course, you would only put enough pressure to hold him down, not to hurt him.
4. Use your right hand to jab the Epi into his right leg.

While this wouldn't work with a larger/taller child, this was the advice we received for restraining a smaller child. I think that the assumption was that an older child would have enough understanding to cooperate. Or that there would be someone else available to help hold a bigger kid down.

Of course, now that you know your son reacts this way, you need to work with him on the issue of cooperation. But who would have predicted that response??

LittleMeTG said...

Hi there. I just wanted to update you on the results of my talks with the school system about this. I spoke to our Health Supervisor for our school system and she agrees that this is something they need to add to the training. In addition, they will also discuss proper procedures like calling 911 first!

I have to follow up with them after the new year and make sure this is being done and when the new training will take place, and who is required to take the training. I suggested that all teachers should be required as at some point they will be responsible for a student with allergies. At any rate, it looks like we're heading in the right direction.

This experience has taught me that while we feel our schools are safe, they cannot know EVERYTHING and rely on our feedback. So I'm keeping my communication open with them. Thanks for posting this on your blog!


Unknown said...

Thank you Linda, this is really helpful info to have.

Thanita--thanks for your your original blog post and for this update. Really great topic. Difficult to think of everything. Reading your blog and others' helps open my eyes and ears up to things I haven't yet encountered or haven't imagined.