We have a bag for MyItchyBoy that goes everywhere with him. Over the past few years we’ve learned the essentials we need to keep in there.
- Ask your local pharmacy if they can sell you a small medicine bottle. Ours charges 30p. Decant liquid antihistamine into the bottle and label it with your child’s name, dose to give, name of the medicine (proper name as well as brand name) and expiry date. Include a measuring spoon or syringe and pop both into a plastic bag.
- Wet wipes: less to clean your child and more to clean anything else they may come into contact with that may have allergens on it – usually tables and chairs in cafes, aeroplanes, trains….
- If you have auto injector pens, carry them in a purpose-made pouch. It will protect them and keep them cool. Be careful to keep the bag out of bright sunshine and always leave the bag away from radiators in the winter.
- Make sure medications are easy to find and accessible in a hurry – don’t let them get buried at the bottom of the bag.
- Keep an emergency cheat sheet in with the medication to remind yourself and help anyone else deal with an emergency.
- Keep a small supply of safe food in the bag for those times when it can be hard to find safe food (traffic jams and A&E!). We pack the following: rice cakes, a cereal bar and a dried fruit snack. You want things with a long expiry date and robust enough to survive the bumps and shakes of daily life.
- Choose a bag that anybody can carry comfortably. We use a backpack in a neutral colour so even Grandad is happy to carry it. It is not too large but big enough to also fit packed lunches in so we only use the one bag everywhere he goes. When you start moving medications from one bag to another, you run the risk of one day going out without them.
- We use a badge on our bag that indicates there is an Epipen in there. This was from when we started to have to leave the bag in a pile when we go places. I felt that if someone needed to find my son’s medication in a hurry it might help. In many ways I’d prefer something more obvious, but am yet to find something suitable. It has meant I have met some other lovely allergy parents in the street who have started a conversation with me because of it.
We do also carry the usual child paraphernalia in the bag such as a notepad, crayons, plasters and spare underpants, but those aren’t specific to allergy kids 🙂
Let me know what you find useful to carry with your allergic child so I can add it to the list.