When our food-allergic children are young, carrying their epinephrine auto-injectors is easy. We throw them in our diaper bag or purse, and off we go. Our kids are always with us, so it’s easy to keep their medications within reach – our reach.
As they get older, however, there comes a time when we have to transition to having them carry their own EpiPens or Auvi-Q injectors. Whether they’re headed off to soccer games or dance practice, or going to school, birthday parties, or the mall, they need to have their epinephrine with them at all times. For girls, carrying their pens is still pretty simple: girls can carry purses, of which there are about a million cute varieties.
For boys, however, it becomes more problematic. Boys don’t carry purses, or anything remotely resembling a purse. So the question of how to get boys to carry (and keep up with) their meds is a perennial question. Over the years, my own son has changed how he carries his, depending on his age and his current definition of “cool.” He is now 14, which means I expect the next few years to become more challenging as his concept of cool begins to change at light-speed.
Anyway, here are some ideas for carrying EpiPens and Auvi-Q injectors that I’ve found so far. If you have ideas, please share!
Clear plastic case: I keep my son’s EpiPens, Benadryl, and written information about what to do in an emergency in a clear zippered case. That way anyone looking for it can see instantly what’s inside and what to do with it. The cases I use are small makeup bags from Walmart, but a pencil case from office supply stores would work the same way. The case slips easily into things like a backpack, soccer gear bag, or my purse, and it’s just big enough for 2 EpiPens, a small bottle of Benadryl, and his inhaler.
Allergy Apparel EpiBelt: The Allergy Apparel website has a good-looking belt option for carrying EpiPens or Auvi-Q injectors. I think this would be ideal for young kids.
Allergy Apparel Pouches: The Allergy Apparel website also offers several carrying cases for your EpiPens or Auvi-Q injectors, but I especially like the autoinjector pouches that have a clip so you can clip it to a backpack, cooler, belt loop, or lunch box. It comes in a variety of designs, from camo to superheroes. The pouches for the Auvi-Q injector include these with sport designs on them: Sport It Ject Pouch Combo
AllerMates EpiPen Pouch: This pouch from AllerMates has Velcro straps that can loop around a belt or backpack, and it has a strap to hold an inhaler if needed.
RescueShot Epi Case: This case from RescueShot is rugged, made from padded alistic nylon, and can clip to a belt or use your own carabineer clip to secure it to a backpack.
WaistPal and LegBuddy: These unique EpiPen carriers from OmaxCare may be just the solution for your fashion-conscious teen. The WaistPal is a narrow neoprene belt that fits around your waist with one pen in back and one in front, and it is easily hidden under a shirt. The LegBuddy fits around your calf like a holster, hidden under your pant leg.
KozyEpi has a variety of neoprene carriers in different sizes, designs, and shapes for EpiPens and Auvi-Qs.
Fanny pack: My son carried his meds case in a regular fanny pack when he was much smaller, but now that he’s a teenager, he wouldn’t be caught with one. But it was a good option for a while.
String bag: These lightweight bags are handy, and right now they’re the carrying option of choice for my son. Easy to sling over a shoulder, not bulky, and you can toss in a water bottle, snack, or other essentials.
Epi-Essentials Handbags: I’ve focused on boys, since they’re harder to please, but I haven’t forgotten teen girls and women! These Epi-Essentials clutches keep all your medications handy, while doubling as a stylish purse. They’re a little on the expensive side, but might be just what you’re looking for.
Those are just some ideas I’ve found. If you have a favorite option, be sure to share it with us!
UPDATE 4/8/13: Readers have added some great tips:
Alert Wear lets you design your own EpiPen case: Find Alert Wear on Etsy or Alert Wear on Facebook.
Neoprene camera or glasses cases work well too for about 1/3 the cost! You can find many different designs, also.
One reader recommended MediPouch, but their website doesn't appear to be working for me, so let me know if you can find them. www.medipouch.com