Thursday, March 25, 2010

Training is Key

I recently received an EpiPen trainer, and once I had it, I wondered why I didn't get one sooner. (As in, right when Ella was first diagnosed. In fact, I often wonder why they don't give you one right after the allergy test is done.) For those of you who don't know what a "trainer" is, it's an EpiPen that contains no needle or drug, but works just the same as a "real" EpiPen. So it allows you to practice using an EpiPen, so that if an emergency arrises, you'll be ready.

Aside from being able to practice myself, I have found the trainer SO useful for teaching other people how to use it. When I first showed it to people, most of them didn't know how to use it - including those I had previously showed the real EpiPen to, and who I leave Ella with on a regular basis. Scary! But having the trainer available has allowed me to give them a much more hands-on training, so that now I am assured that they will be able to use the real thing if they ever need to. I actually carry it around in my purse, and I'm surprised at how often people are interested in checking it out.

So, perhaps you're wondering where to get one. If you have a kid with an allergy, or if you are a caretaker of a kid with an allergy, or if you are an organization which cares for kids (like a church or a preschool), you NEED and EpiPen trainer. The best place to get one is the EpiPen website - all you have to do is sign up for the "EpiPen Resource Centre" and you can order training materials totally FREE! In fact, you can order one Patient Starter Kit every year if you want. The kit includes a training DVD, a quick reference guide, and an EpiPen trainer. If you are an organization, you can get a bigger kit which also includes posters.

Just as an extra note, the EpiPen website also offers some other great stuff. You can set up a reminder service for up to six EpiPens, so you will get an email when they are about to expire. There's also a recipe centre, for allergen-free meals and treats.

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