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  • Writer's pictureLindsay Schultz

8 Clever Hacks to Never Forget Your Epi

Updated: Aug 13, 2023

Have you ever left home without your phone? You know the mental checklist. 'Do I have my phone, keys, wallet, sunglasses?' Somehow, you still forgot it. I wish it were liberating to be untethered, but it's not!


Strong communication is a non-negotiable when you navigate food allergies. Mistakes can happen. The risk feels more manageable when you have 911 at your fingertips or can quickly view a text with an ingredient label to ensure it's safe.


Food allergies strip you of feeling in control. My 'Mom bag' was my little way of preparing for anything.

That bag could cover a small zip code's needs. I packed many just-in-case things that collected dust and crumbs, usually vanishing into the black-hole bottom of the bag.


Bandaids, faded fruit snacks, flattened granola bars, markers without caps, pens that may work, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, random receipts, and device chargers that never fit my phone… just a sample of what you'd find on any given day. Ridiculous.


But I’m also here to tell you in the early days how often I would kick myself for forgetting the most important device: our epinephrine auto-injector.


I stumbled early on and wasn't setting my kids up for success as an awesome role model. How could I lecture them to remember anything when I clearly struggled? Their list was already long by the time they got to elementary school.


Our kids needed to remember their backpacks, jackets, hats, gloves, boots, library books, snacks, instruments, packed lunches, water bottles, homework…oh, and their epinephrine auto-injectors!


Epi auto-injectors cost a fortune and require room-temperature storage, and we can never leave the medicine in a car or their backpack that gets stuffed into a locker. We can't just sprinkle multiple devices throughout our routine paths.


No, we must keep the very expensive, precious, life-saving, delicate, temperature-sensitive device secure and always accessible. Through lots of trial and error experience and researching creative solutions over the years, we now have systems to help us consistently remember to bring the injectors wherever we go.


Our oldest son nailed down the habit in fourth grade, and it brings us all a sense of relief as he navigates anaphylactic peanut, tree nut, legume, sesame, mustard, and soy protein food allergies. He wears his auto-injector daily and still enjoys life as a sporty, active, and happy kid.


Here are the pro tips we have collected to find the right-size approach for your needs. These clever hacks and accessories help build daily habits to keep you or your loved one safe.


The goal? Reduce forgetfulness, promote lifestyle ease, and always have emergency information and medicine within quick reach.

 

I earn from qualifying purchases on these affiliate links as an Amazon Associate. The funds are then redistributed back into food allergy research.



BLUETOOTH TRACKER + AUTO-INJECTOR:


If you're worried about forgetting your medicine at home or even losing it, consider pairing a Bluetooth tracking device and attaching it to your epinephrine auto-injector! You can set up separation alerts to the device (which would attach to an allergy bag or directly to your injector device). The AirTag would sync with precision tracking on other Apple devices and provide loud audio alerts if you cannot find the medicine. Tile also makes a Bluetooth tracking product that can sync with Android or iOS. Similar to Apple, it will also enable a separation alert if you leave a Tiled item anywhere, including specific locations you specify (such as your house). Consider these tracking devices extra insurance for peace of mind.

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HIDDEN EPINEPHRINE BELT:


Our son was looking for a discreet way to wear his two Auvi-Qs at all times.The summer before 4th grade we bought this small personal items (SPI) belt and he practiced the habit of wearing this belt daily under his shirt around his waistband.


With daily nudges for a few weeks, he gradually became more independent. He puts it by his socks as a visual cue to always remember wearing it. He plays hard at recess, jumps and runs around and only takes it off when he puts it in his bag to play organized sports. The belt stays snug at his waist.


SPI belt designs their products for active wear and we affix the devices next to each other with a bit of tape to keep the devices snugly in position so they don't bounce around.


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3M COMMAND STRIPS + PHONE:


On a podcast interview with entrepreneur, Matt Bomes, he shared how he adheres two simple 3M Command strips to the back of his phone to hold his Auvi-Q in place. He commented that it doesn't add much bulk at all too. Not only does he feel safer, but he says ergonomically, it fits into his palm when talking on the phone too. For safety purposes, he keeps two auto-injector devices nearby at all times.


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ADHESIVE PHONE WALLETS:


Adhesive phone wallets are also trending as a way to double as a wallet. You can store an Auvi-Q device, credit card, or even ear buds in this stretchy, Lycra phone wallet case. Check out EpiPal's offering below.


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HIDDEN POCKETS IN LEGGINGS:


Leggings are popular with all ages and have handy side pockets too. These come in pants, three-quarter length or even shorts and many brands intentionally leave room for carrying a phone, and/or an Auvi-Q device. Some brands even have hidden utility pockets you wouldn't expect!

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AUVI-Q LEATHER WALLET:


The mental checklist before you leave the house includes bringing your wallet. Why not create a habit-stack (when you attach a habit you'd like to build to an existing one). Pairing your Auvi-Q with your money and driver's license means you substantially reduce the odds of leaving your medicine at home. Win-win!


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HARD-SHELL CASE WITH CARABINER:


Throwing your auto-injector into a backpack risks the out-of-sight, out-of-mind conundrum. But having a visually accessible hard shell, durable case means your device won't be forgotten. It can keep up with your rugged outdoor adventures too.

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FRIO COOLING GEL PACK:


When temperatures climb and you are living life outside, it’s hard to find a way to keep your epinephrine cool without freezing it. Ideally it would be at room temperature. The Frio pack using cooling gel to keep the medicine cooler on hot days. Our son puts his Frio pack in his sports backpack in the heat and we don’t worry about the medicine overheating. A must have for summer or high-heat climates!

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* * BONUS IDEA! * *



IDENTIFICATION TAGS + WATCH OR SHOE:


Have you seen medical ID bracelets or medical alert bands that allow you to customize personal health and contact information? In an emergency, if a person becomes unconscious, the details of a medical ID or bracelet speak for the incoherent person, helping first responders understand if they are dealing with specific health conditions.


Like many pieces of jewelry, consistently wearing a bracelet 24/7 may not be a practical option for everyone. Some people don't prefer any jewelry. They need a more functional use to help reinforce the habit of wearing it daily. Knowing yourself helps understand which options will work best for you to maximize use of your medical ID wearable. Regardless of your preference, find a way to make your ID visually accessible.

Medical ID tag

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Check out these other allergy products that help you manage your device and emergency contact details.

How do you always remember to bring your medicine? Are we missing any favorites?


Tag @feedyourcan on Instagram or Facebook and we'll happily feature your ideas and credit your genius life hack in an upcoming post or newsletter.

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