On the Pantry blog today, I'm sharing the card my daughter and I formulated (based on advice from our allergist) as a reminder for her about WHEN she should use her EpiPen, not just HOW to use it.
Check out the post: http://foodallergypantry.weebly.com/blog/when-to-use-epinephrine-pocket-card
Our baby steps toward her independent self care sometimes startle me. We've gone from a toddler practicing with the trainer in her carseat to a self-carrying early elementary school child to training for self injection ahead of club memberships and future middle and high school years.
What I didn't think about along these steps was how difficult it is for even adults to know when to use the pen or when to stick with antihistamines and rescue medicines. Obviously, use the pen if there's any doubt. But how do you clarify that for the child who has to consider using it on him or herself?
The card we made isn't necessarily as detailed as the action plans and posters. Size, readability, and situational use limit the detail. It's not medically approved or in any medical jargon, either. It's just a reminder to one child from mom about what her doctor's instructions are for staying safe if she accidentally ingests an unsafe food.
For now, that's enough. I hope that our example can help others who are trying to guide their growing kids to self reliance, too (one day at a time!).