Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Proper Use of an EpiPen

I know most of you probably already know how to properly use an epipen, but for those of you who are new to this, this article is for you.

I use to have a ton of fear when I first saw this plastic tube with a needle on the end. I thought, ‘I have to jam this in my daughter’s leg?’ I did everything possible to avoid the use of one (and still do). But my goal was to become comfortable with it, just incase I needed to use it. So here goes…
First and foremost, whoever has your child needs to know where to find it. Then need to know whether the epipen is in their backpack, around their waist or somewhere high out of their reach. Once that is noted, then it is time to learn how to use it.

First: You take it out of its box. I carry it in the box it came in because it keeps my daughter from opening it up. She is highly curious.

Second: Remove the green or yellow cap off the top. Once you have done that, then you can slide the epipen out of its casing.

Third: Remove the grey safety cap off the back of the pen.

Fourth: Get a tight grip on the pen and firmly jab the black tip part into your outer thigh. Listen for it to click and hold it in place for 10 seconds.

Fifth: Once you have done that, call 911.

If you still aren’t feeling very comfortable with the idea of jamming this into your child’s leg, you can take the expired epipen and practice on a fruit, so that you have some sort of experience with it. For extra precaution, you can print the directions on the back of a plastic allergy information card. That way, when you hand the person the allergy card, you can show then the directions on the back of the card on how to use the epipen.


  1. I appreciate your tips for having a babysitter. My oldest and middle child have a gluten allergy. Praise the Lord their reactions are not anaphylactic. The next day they get skin rashes, stomach aches that can last for weeks. We very rarely have babysitters. I'm concerned as they get older (they're 5 and 3) and are around friends that are eating food they can't have. How does your daughter react when her friends are eating things she can't have?

  2. It is great to hear that their reactions aren't anaphylactic. But rashes and stomach aches can be just as bad to deal with. My daughter use to be good around food, but now that she is older she is wanting what others have and when I'm not around, she has been eating some of it. Thanks goodness nothing serious has come out of it. It is just one major work in progress.