Managing anaphylaxis in young children
Helping kids live a normal life
If you’re a parent of a child with anaphylaxis, it’s perfectly understandable that you’ll feel anxious and concerned about your loved ones safety, especially when he or she is away from home. Rest assured, your child can still enjoy a normal active life. It’s all about being prepared and preparing others.
Prepare your child
The first step in being prepared is to know exactly what your child is allergic to. If the child is old enough, remind him or her about the triggers and where they might be found – or hiding.
Secondly, ensure the child has an EpiPen® available at all times and knows where it is and how to use it (or the person caring for the child does). If your child is with a friend, make sure the friend knows to immediately seek the help of an adult.
Helping others be prepared
Don’t feel embarrassed or self-conscious about making sure adults such as other parents, party hosts, babysitters, childcare workers or teachers are aware of your child’s severe allergy – allergy and the risk of anaphylaxis is becoming more and more common.
- If food is a trigger, offer to provide your child’s food.
- Offer to demonstrate the use of the EpiPen® using the trainer device, or direct the ‘carer’ to the how to use video on this website or YouTube.
- You could download this leaflet from our EpiPen® Resources section and print it out to share with others.
- If your child is going on an excursion, school camp or extended get together with friends, download and print a copy of the Anaphylaxis Action Plan and make sure the person in charge is aware of it.
- EpiClub® provides a number of useful resources for schools. Let your school know about the section of the website so they can request a FREE resource kit for their school.
Tips for playing safe
Playgrounds and parks can be scary, but once again, some planning can help alleviate your anxieties.
- Remind children not to share food or drinks with friends
- Encourage children to use hand wipes before and after eating and playing
- Be on the look-out for insects and places where they gather (e.g., beehives, ant hills, flower beds etc.)
- Clean up food and drink after eating or if there is a spill, to avoid attracting insects
- Encourage children to inform a friend about their risk for anaphylaxis, how to recognise symptoms and when they should get an adult in case of an emergency
- Remind children not to wander off if they suspect symptoms of anaphylaxis are beginning
- Make sure that adults in charge are aware of children’s severe allergies
- Make sure the child (or carer) has an EpiPen® on hand and knows what to do.