It was a normal cabin weekend for the Lawinger family of Otsego. Jason, a husband and father of two, was eating cashews and wiped his hands on his shirt and started wrestling with his son, Zac, then two. Within moments, Zac’s face was broken out in hives.
“Thanks to my wife, Allyson, who is an RN, we knew right away it was an allergic reaction and gave him Benadryl,” Jason said.
The Benadryl kicked in right away and Zac was ok but as soon as the family returned home, a trip to the allergist was inevitable.
Zac was diagnosed with a nut allergy and prescribed an epi-pen. Shortly after the allergist demonstrated how to use the epi-pen with a trainer, Zac took it, bit into the safety cover and started playing with it.
“I immediately said, this isn’t going to work,” Jason explained worried that his active, curious two year old would hurt himself.
Jason’s work was cut out for him as he started researching if there were any safety products on the market.
“Epi-pens used incorrectly can hurt children, causing lacerations or narcosis,” he explained.
Those who are prescribed an epi-pen are supposed to have one on them at all times but some experts suggest that less than half of those prescribed one do not carry it with them.
It could be convenience, or it could be kids.
Jason, an engineer by trade, went to work and within a week had a prototype put together on his 3-D printer.
He already had ideas of using the familiar child resistant cover so that even in a panic situation, it would be intuitive for someone to open and administer.
NefCase was born. A protective case made of clear, hard plastic, similar to that of a Nalgene water bottle with a child resistant cover and a carabiner. Something that can be tossed in a diaper bag or brought on the boat and still kept safe, sanitary and away from curious hands.
“There’s really three goals,” Jason explained. “To keep kids safe, keep it easy to open and protecting the investment.”
Epi-pens can cost nearly $400 for a set of two.
Thankfully Jason and his wife, Allyson haven’t needed to use the epi-pen on their son, Zac since his diagnosis but knowing that he can’t access or use it on himself gives them peace of mind.
NefCase is currently available for purchase on Amazon.com.