EpiPens can save your life in the event of an allergic reaction, but for many people their size and shape make them an annoying item to carry around on a daily basis. A recent survey carried out by the Anaphylaxis Campaign found that 44% of 15-25 year olds admitted to not always carrying their adrenaline injectors. Whilst many girls benefit from hand bags in which to carry it, boys must find an alternative way to store their EpiPens. I myself on occasions, have left the house without my injectors as I have not had somewhere to put them.
The Anaphylaxis Campaign has issued a powerful message with #TakeTheKit, a video which can be viewed above, highlighting the risks posed by leaving your EpiPen at home. There are cases of teenagers who have left home without adrenaline and lost their lives. #TakeTheKit also suggests that you must inform those around you, whether friends or family, of your allergy, the symptoms, how to react and where your adrenaline injector is stored. This is important as, in the event of a reaction you need support from other people, to help you recover, as you may not be in a state to help yourself.
What are the best ways of carrying EpiPens out and about?
Below is a list of various ways of storing EpiPens when out and about (in no particular order). I have attempted to weigh up each solution, as each have positive and negative aspects in different situations. In whichever way you do choose to carry your EpiPens it is important that you alert someone who is able to help you in the event of an allergic reaction, as to where you store them.
1. Coat Pockets:
Whilst jean pockets are generally too small for storing a couple of EpiPens, many coats have deeper pockets which are ideal for keeping EpiPens in. If you do have any other clothing items with deep pockets these would also be ideal. However, this is not a permanent solution, as whilst you are likely to wear your coat quite often during Autumn and Winter, on hot summer days it is unlikely that you would wish to wear a big coat. Plus, you must remember where your coat is, or transfer your EpiPen when you are inside a building such as a restaurant or club.
Backpacks or man bags are an alternative way of keeping your EpiPen with you at all times. There are a range of different options available in different styles and sizes. If I don’t have my coat with me then I will most likely keep mine in my backpack. However, this may not always be practical as backpacks and bags can be quite bulky and big things to carry around.
3. Friend’s Handbag:
Alternatively, if you are with a friend/girlfriend who has a handbag they may be happy to carry your EpiPen for you. This may be a good idea if you are clubbing as you may not be able to wear a coat or carry a backpack of your own. This option is more practical than having to carry them in your hand. However, when I have previously asked for my friend to look after my EpiPens, I forgot to ask them to return my EpiPen and I had to collect them the next day. Also, if you do consider this option then you must stay with your friend, as you will need adrenaline close at hand in the event of a reaction.
4. Belt Attachment:
Another solution is to use an EpiPen case with a loop or strap, allowing it to attach to belts. This option is great for keeping your EpiPen with you at all times as the case is literally attached to you. However, although my EpiPen case does have a belt attachment option, I do not use it in this way as it is large, therefore indiscreet and pulls my jeans down due to the weight of it. There are a range of different belt style cases available online, both made specifically for EpiPens and cases which may be used for other items, therefore it is worth doing a quick search before discounting this option.
5. Armband/Shin Pad Case:
This option may be a good one when playing sport as it is attached to you and you are still able to move freely and blend in with team mates. Armband and shin pad cases can also, be worn beneath clothing and, therefore are discreet in day to day life. However if your EpiPen is concealed beneath clothing, you must tell those you are with where it is in the event of a reaction and it must be easily accessible. Medical alert bracelets or necklaces are a good way of letting even strangers know that you have an allergy in the event of a reaction. Also, these cases may not be so discreet or fit when wearing skinny jeans or short sleeved clothing.
Whichever option you do choose, make sure to take the kit, as it could potentially save your life.