Be Prepared for an Allergy Emergency

Be Prepared for an Allergy Emergency

A serious food allergy diagnosis means you need to be prepared with an emergency response plan should there be a severe allergic reaction. Quick action and having all family members and close friends educated on what steps to take in the event of an anaphylactic reaction is key.

Be Prepared for an Allergy Emergency

Despite your best efforts to keep your child safe from allergic reactions, being prepared in case one occurs is a priority.

Have an emergency response checklist prepared and accessible by everyone in your child’s life. Here are our best tips when setting up your allergy emergency plan of action. Is there more we should add?

Talk to Your Doctor/Allergist

Review your allergy plan with your doctor and allergist. They will help you determine the proper medication, steps in priority order and course of action. Once armed with this information, write it out - include your childs name, health card information, known allergens, phone numbers of doctors, hospitals, family members, and medications - then tape it to the fridge, e mail it to friends and family, put a copy in your childs backpack and your car.  


If you have been prescribed epinephrine auto injectors for emergencies, make sure two of them are always with the child or with an adult that is caring for your child. Having two on hand will ensure a back up is available if one is not working.  Ensure neither have expired. If your child is at day care, school, dance or hockey rinks regularly, find out if there are stored mediations that that may be available to your child. Ensure all care givers know where the epi pens are at all times. 

Also have any other medications on hand as directed by your doctor and allergist in case of mild reactions. 

Get Educated

Know the signs of anaphylactic reaction - are they having trouble breathing, rash, swelling, vomiting, wheezing - and be ready to put your plan in place. Know how to use the epinephrine auto injector - ask for a demonstration at the doctors office, visit the manufacturers website, become an expert, know where to inject and teach others how to use it.  Be familiar with all prescribed medications and when they should be used.  As your child gets older, they can be taught how to self diagnose and even self inject.  

Practice Emergency Response

If your child has a serious allergic reaction use the auto injector immediately, have someone call 911 and get your child to the closest emergency room.  Have a second auto injector with you as a second does may be required if there is a second wave of symptoms. 


Prevention is always the best defence when it comes to food allergies but emergencies do happen.  Be prepared by talking to your doctor and asking all the questions, be confident and share your emergency plan with family, friends and care givers. 

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