The following are excerpts from testimonials provided by members of an anaphylaxis education group whose children have experienced life-threatening reactions.
Use the epinephrine auto-injector
as the first line of choice at the onset of a reaction, [especially
if asthma has been diagnosed].
We had walked away from the diagnosis with Benadryl as the first line of choice for his allergies. If this were to happen now, I would consider using the epinephrine auto-injector rather than Benadryl.
Keep the epinephrine auto-injector and antihistamine
in the same place, which family members and caregivers know
My husband could not find my son's fannypack with his EpiPen�, which was buried under a week's worth of mail on a counter. I knew where to look as I had put it there. I asked my husband to get the Benadryl as well, but he did not know where that was either. I found it in the cupboard where I had put it (and not told anyone).
Practice using the epinephrine auto-injector
every few months and train family members as well.
I have the Trainer pen now. When I grabbed the epinephrine auto-injector to use on my son, I remembered to remove the gray cap, but when I looked at the hole in the end, I thought it must be faulty! So I grabbed the second one and when I saw the same thing I figured it must be OK - the things that go through your mind in times of crisis!
Call 911 or transport the child to hospital with another adult. Try to remain calm.
As I sped down the street at 80 km an hour, I almost hit some parked cars and thought, "Geeze, that could have been a person". I tried to maintain calm but continued to race at the same pace, looking in the rear view mirror every minute to check on my son. I thought that if he could answer me, he was okay. At one point when I asked how he was doing, he answered, "I feel like I'm going to die." This is when I nearly lost control. I could have caused an accident.
Always carry an epinephrine auto-injector even though food consumption is not planned.
We were at our neighbourhood park. My child (2 years at the time) and his brother were playing in the sand while we talked to some neighbours. Some kids came up behind where we were standing. He jumped into the wagon. There was a peanut butter sandwich there and he took a bite. [The epinephrine auto-injector had not been taken as they thought he would not be around food.]
If you do not know exactly what was used in the recipe in terms of ingredients, do not give it to your child.
The butterscotch chips were the culprit and although my neighbour had read her package, the chips used by the nanny were from Chipits and did contain traces of peanuts. There are always several brands of chips and you must be certain which brand was used and be able to read the label.
Treat every mention of an aversion to food very seriously, always.
Two summers ago, when my son was 3, we sat down one evening to eat grilled salmon. He had been exposed to various forms of fish already (fish sticks, smoked salmon). As my older son began to complain about having to eat fish for dinner, and pretend to vomit, so did he. After about 20 seconds, His complaining became stronger as he continued to try to eliminate the food. At that point I realized that he was not faking this episode (although the other adults at the table did not).
Last date modified on Friday, April 7, 2006