Since my son was diagnosed with a peanut allergy two years ago, we’ve made several permanent adjustments to our family’s lifestyle. No more trips to the Chinese buffet down the street, or the ice cream parlour. No more visits to most restaurants, period without calling ahead. No more unidentified cupcakes at classmates’ birthday parties. No more (sigh) trick-or-treating at Halloween.
And most importantly, no going anywhere, ever, without my son’s EpiPen.
Which is why I’ll be buying him an allergy action kit from Medpax.
The “why didn’t I think of that?” invention of a mom who also happens to be a doctor, MEDPAX are sturdy little storage boxes designed to hold medication for kids with asthma and/or allergies. You can customize the box with your child’s name and photo too.
I tested one myself and found it will indeed hold an EpiPen Jr. and an entire box of Children’s Benadryl. (And don’t ask me how I know this, but the box will also totally stand up to being knocked off a dinner table by a rambunctious seven-year-old.)
But this is about more than convenience.
One of the more challenging responsibilities I’ve faced as the mom of a kid with a serious food allergy has been making sure that all of the people who look after my son when I’m not around — classroom teachers, after-school program teachers, school administators, babysitters, aunts, uncles, grandparents — get properly trained on how to administer medication in case my son has an allergic reaction.
Some symptoms may only require a quick dose of Benadryl. Others may signal anaphylaxis. And when a child is too young to carry and use his or her own medication, it’s up to a child’s caregiver to determine quickly what sort of reaction is happening, and what medication to give, and that can be pretty confusing. I often worry that in an emergency situation, a new caregiver for my son might get confused and give him the wrong medication.
And that’s what so genius about MEDPAX. Your child’s allergy action plan information is printed right on the front of the box — in a really clever infographic that clearly separates the instructions for mild allergy or asthma symptoms from the instructions for a serious attack. There’s also plenty of space for emergency contact numbers, doctors’ names, and all the other information you would not
want a babysitter or a school secretary searching through an address book or a paper file for while your child struggles to breathe.
Considering my son’s school currently stores his super expensive,
livesaving medication in a paper bag marked with a Sharpie, I’m pretty
stoked about the idea of convincing them to use this instead. Come to think of it, I might want to get two or three. –Jaelithe