Safety Solution

Dad creates childproof case for EpiPen

By Kiley Petersen

While on a trip to his family’s cabin in central Minnesota, Jason Lawinger was enjoying a snack of cashews. He and his son, then two years old, began play-wrestling, when suddenly his son’s face swelled in reaction to the cashew salt left on his dad’s sweatshirt. The diagnosis was swift — nut allergy — and the doctor recommended an EpiPen. The doctor pulled out a training EpiPen to explain how the injection worked, and Lawinger’s son asked to play with it. Since there was no needle in the pen, the doctor gave it to the toddler, whose first move was to bite off the blue safety cap. In a live pen this would have exposed the needle.

After realizing there was nothing like it on the market, Lawinger, an engineer for a large medical device company, experimented with a childproof case prototype. NefCase (short for epinephrine), which launched in March of this year, is an injection-molded plastic case with a push-down-and-turn childproof cap, similar to Advil or other pill bottles. The case is waterproof and floats, a big plus in the summer when kids are around pools and beaches. NefCases are available for U.S. purchase on Amazon and Luckily, Lawinger could use his technical skills as an engineer to tackle the problems he encounters as a parent, and to prevent a potentially disastrous medical emergency.