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Do you have a child who is at the age of wanting to go to their friend's place for a play date without you? If so, you may like to host an epipen party to ensure you child's friend's carers are allergy and epipen aware first!
I recently had a group of mums over to my house for an epipen party. Not only did we cover the importance of allergies and epipen training - we also had a hoot after the serious allergy part was over. It was a great afternoon of talking everything allergies, as well as everything kids and mums in-between.
So how do you structure the allergy and epipen training for mums so that it doesn't feel like a hard core training session, but results in everyone being comfortable with hosting a safe play date?
This is how I did it...
We started the afternoon with some great allergy friendly wholefood snacks before kicking off an allergy quiz to lighten the session. The quiz covered topics such as the prevalence of allergies, the allergy capital of the world, the top 9 allergens and allergic reaction symptoms. Answers were scribed on a whiteboard for a visual as everyone got into the swing of shouting out the answers.
The quiz finished with a list of symptoms which lead us nicely into familiarisation of the allergy and anaphylaxis action plan. Everyone was given a handout of the plan and we covered all the symptoms and responses in detail before moving on to use of an epipen.
I then gave a demonstration of the correct use of the epipen along with important do's and don'ts. This was followed by a short training video to reinforce my demonstration. Everyone was then given a turn of using an epipen trainer to ensure they were comfortable using the epipen with real life, hands-on experience.
Ultimately, we want to prevent the use of an epipen! So we then discussed cross-contamination and allergen safe food preparation. (Also discussed in my previous blog 'how friends and family can help').
I then shared with the mums my 'food comfort levels' on a play date so they knew how to manage food without me there. Personally, I would prefer to send along food that all the children at a play date can share. I also requested that my child washes his hands or uses a baby wipe and the table surface is wiped down just before he eats. This way I know we have implemented measures to prevent an allergic reaction. This gives my child piece of mind, me piece of mind and my child's friend's carers piece of mind that we have covered all bases in attempt to prevent an allergic reaction.
The afternoon ended with the mums being well informed and understanding how to manage an allergy friendly play date, how to recognise symptoms of an allergic reaction and anaphylaxis, how and when to administer medication and how to give an epipen.
Epipen training devices can by ordered in Australia by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If you like the idea of having an epipen party but are not confident to host it yourself, you may consider using a facilitator to run it for you. Please let me know if you'd like to discuss your requirements.
Information in this blog is for educational purposes only. The author is not responsible for any adverse effects resulting from recipes or suggestions in this blog.