Camelbak Mini – Our Favorite EpiPen Carrier
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The majority of food allergy fatalities involve an individual who did not have an EpiPen with them, even if the food allergy was known or diagnosed. We have tried to make a point of carrying Riley’s EpiPens wherever we go because we know it might be a matter of life or death one day. But let’s be honest, carrying an EpiPen, or better yet TWO EpiPens, is a pain in the rear. You can’t leave it in the car. It can’t be too hot or too cold. It is bulky and large, especially for kids who are carrying their own, and that is only amplified when they are doing physical activities. Not to mention, kids don’t want to stick out from everyone else. It’s socially isolating enough to have food allergies, and then you get to be the kid with the “fanny pack” too.
We have been through a lot of EpiPen carriers over the years trying to find what was easiest to use and I wanted to pass along our favorite. Take a look at these and see if you can guess which one is our go-to carrier:
If you guessed the red backpack, you were correct!! It is by far the coolest looking of the bags, right? It is a Camelbak Mini M.U.L.E Hydration Pack and we use it to carry both EpiPens and some Wal-Dryl Single Doses (liquid single doses of Benadryl).
It has a few zipper pockets, one large one in the front where we carry the meds. A small zipper pocket up top, the pouch for the camelbak bladder, and an open pocket between the main portion of the bag and the front zipper pocket. It looks like a mini backpack and can carry a few other items too. We’ve used it to keep safe snacks, water, money, house keys, and even his scout book when he goes to scouts (we take the bladder out and use that pocket). For a 9 year old, this is not only useful, but much cooler than carrying a fanny pack, especially a bright green one.
It is a little pricey, but for all the money I’ve wasted on carriers he doesn’t use, I think I could have bought a few of these. Not to mention, the fact that he will actually take his EpiPen with him, is absolutely worth it!! Now this bag is not very large. I’m thinking we will have to upgrade to a larger Camelbak in the next year or two. I’m thinking this bag is probably best for 4-10 year olds, but if you have a taller or larger child, the bag might be best suited for 3-8 year olds. In any case, there are plenty of other larger size Camelbak brand or non name brand hydration bags out there that could work well.
Our second choice has been the bright green belt on the far right. These are called Pocket Epi-Belts and are a little more reasonable in price. They also have versions that slide onto a belt (the black carrier second from the left in the picture is the same kind but in black without an attached belt) instead of having the elastic belt attached. You can also use a carabiner to clip those onto just about anything. A bit bulky but it works fairly well. Although now that he has the backpack, he never wears the other ones anymore.
The one on the right of the backpack is a runners belt. It’s used for carrying phones or wallets. We bought it but the waistband was too big for Riley, so adults use it sometimes when carrying medicine for him.
The first one on the left (black with red plus on it) is an insulated bag. I wasn’t thrilled with the amount of insulation and it doesn’t fit two EpiPens plus antihistamines. If you are carrying Auvi-Q’s, this pouch does fit two. Riley didn’t like the stiff waist strap and doesn’t like to wear it. If your child doesn’t mind the waist strap, then it might not be an issue. It also has a small loop that you can slip a carabiner through and clip to a belt loop or backpack.
I hope this sparks some ideas and is helpful in encouraging your kids (or tweens, teenagers or adults!) to carry their epinephrine. It’s not easy or convenient, but it is the most important thing we can do to protect them.