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Anaphylaxis Facts for Parents and Carers

This document has been developed by ASCIA, the peak professional body of clinical immunology/allergy specialists in Australia and New Zealand. ASCIA information is based on published literature and expert review, is not influenced by commercial organisations and is not intended to replace medical advice.
This information is consistent with Best Practice Guidelines for Anaphylaxis Prevention and Management.
For patient or carer support contact Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia or Allergy New Zealand.

pdfASCIA PC Anaphylaxis Facts Parents Carers 2024165.09 KB

What should a doctor or nurse practitioner provide if your child is at risk of anaphylaxis?

  • Education about avoiding known allergens at home and outside the home

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can be caused by foods (when eaten or in drinks), drugs (medicines), insects or ticks.

  • ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis

This plan includes your child’s details, signs of allergic reactions and what to do if your child has an allergic reaction. It is completed and signed by your child’s doctor or nurse practitioner.

The plan also shows how to give adrenaline (epinephrine) injectors to treat anaphylaxis.

A copy of the plan should be stored with your child’s adrenaline injectors.

  • Prescription for two adrenaline injector devices (EpiPen® or Anapen®)

These devices are available on prescription and rebated in Australia and New Zealand.

They should be replaced just before they expire, and the expiry date is on the device.

  • Education on how to use adrenaline injector devices

You should also practise using a trainer version of the device prescribed for your child. Trainer devices do not have a needle or adrenaline, so they can be safely reused by family and friends.

What is the role of the parent or carer?

  • Give the childcare service, preschool or school a copy of your child’s ASCIA Action Plan

This plan should be updated when new adrenaline injectors are prescribed or if allergies change. The plan can only be completed or updated by your child’s doctor or nurse practitioner.

  • Adrenaline injector devices at childcare services, preschools or schools

One device should be available to the childcare, preschool or school when your child is there, including offsite activities. The devices need to be replaced just before they expire.

  • Work with childcare, preschool or school to develop an individual anaphylaxis care plan

This plan helps staff to manage your child’s allergies at childcare, preschool or school.

  • Teach your child to avoid what they are allergic to and why this is important

Remind your child that they need to tell staff or a friend as soon as they feel sick.

If your child is allergic to food, remind them not to share food or drinks.

What is the role of childcare, preschools and schools?

  • Childcare, preschools and schools should be allergy aware and follow Best Practice Guidelines.
  • Training of staff in prevention, recognition, and treatment of allergic reactions including anaphylaxis.
  • Staff need to know where adrenaline injectors are kept, including students who carry their device.

© ASCIA 2024

Content updated March 2024

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Translations of this document will be available soon.