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Hi everyone,


Looking for some advice please?


I am in a pack away setting,in a village hall. Our fire procedure is to blow a whistle and then all the children stop and line up at a red dot, we then head to our assembly point.



This works very well, however we have a child starting in session who has a severe nut allergy. Because we like most settings work to ratios, so have limited staffing and then try to combine "proper" free-flow play, we are coming up with a problem.


In the event of an anaphylactic shock, the staff need to be alerted immediately.


Now my team think that the whistle will work, however I am not happy with this because:


a. The epipen is kept in pre-school in a marked cupboard so that everyone knows where it is, if the child is outside and it happens, the team outside need to alert the staff inside immediately. Using the whistle means we all line up at the red dot. My staff think we could then at this point tell the others what we need - however valuable minutes have passed!!!!!!


b. The children know that the whistle is for a fire drill. I really think they will get confused otherwise.



So in my mind, I don't think that a whistle for both fire drill and epipen emergency is a good idea, however I am stumped on a solution!


So I am hoping that there is someone out there who is in a very similar situation as me, uses a whistle for fire drill, but something else for epipen warning.


Obviously pulling myself out of the box, we are now a nut-free zone, risk assessments in place etc etc, so we are covered and there should never be a need, but I know to NEVER assume everything is covered and would really like to have a flawless emergency procedure.



HELP!!! so sorry if i have confused you all.



Many thanks




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we used one of those personal alarm thingies.. can come in several sounds and sizes.. I got ours from the neighbourhood watch locally as they had them as a couple of pounds .. nice loud distinctive sound...

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we used one of those personal alarm thingies.. can come in several sounds and sizes.. I got ours from the neighbourhood watch locally as they had them as a couple of pounds .. nice loud distinctive sound...


That sounds like a great idea!


And no, I wouldn't use the whistle for both things.......

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Just to add further to your problems...............


Have you had epipen training with a registered nurse and do you have a certificate. Our insurance is with the PLA and you need to have a certificate, letter from doctor and a letter from parents before they will approve.


Getting back to the point, a whistle or bell would do.


If you have an emergency the children all need to stop and listen like a fire drill and be directed by adults while staff are sorting out the child and phoning the ambulance and the child's parents.


Good luck

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Yes certainly wouldn't use the same equipment needs to be a distinctive sound which highlights the specific alert. So if you already use the whistle for fire evacuation i would certainly suggest you use something with a completely different sound.

Remember only the adults need to recognise the alert for the Epipen.

As for the epipen it should be stored in a easily accessible place for both inside or outside play.

Time is so important in administering this if required.

I'm sure staff have already been trained for this particular child's condition by a qualified person to do so, we had the child's Health Visitor.

We also chose three staff to be trained and this was included in the child's care plan which was signed by all.

Yes PSLA insurance requires you to have a Dr's letter, including child's medical condition, medication perscribed, dosage.

Without this your Insurance is not valid.

Not sure if you also know that if you were to have another child with a Epipen, staff have to be trained again by a Health professional.

Have to say we never had to use it thankfully.

Wishing you well. :o

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Well now you have me thinking as we use a whistle for a fire alarm and also have a child with an epi pen (and yes before anyone asks ALL our staff are trained in the use of) HOWEVER (shame on me) the child being outside and needing it has never occurred to me. Def wouldn't use the whistle, we have never used or allowed a whistle in our group for this reason, but not sure what else to suggest. A bell just wouldn't work for us, but we do always, always have 2 members of staff outside even if just 4 children so it would be easy to get/alert someone for help. To be honest we have had a few children over the years with epi pens and although we have have had emergency procedures for them in place it has never included an alarm of any sort (apart from verbal)


Changing the subject very slightly I have a group in my area that had a child wanting to start with them with an epi pen but couldn't get anyone to come in and give them training for use of epi pen. Dr's surgery, district nurse and local clinic are all now referring them to a private place that wants £400 to show them how to use it. This was told to me in Nov, she had been told that this was a new thing since Sept (2010) not sure what has happened since. Had anyone else heard of this?

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My last first aid course was run by an ex paramedic. She was aware of the need to have training but said in a life and death situation, where the patient is probably in no state to administer themselves, a way round it is to hold the epi pen in the patients hand with your hand covering and guiding. Officially wrong but in one of those situations probably right. She aslo said that no-one has ever been sucessflly taken to court while trying to save a life, regardless of our fears on such things.

I definitly know what I would do in a situation like that.

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I have an epipen. We used to have a child with one ; level 3 and above staff were trained in the use of them, refreshed every year. Since he left it has been decided to continue the refreshers (because of me) - I have already given my permission for staff to administer to me should the situation arise...and I don't think I'd sue anyone who wasn't trained if they did it for me, either, in an emergency!!



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