Anaphylaxis: Be Aware, Prepared, and Ready to Respond

By Kayla Hewitt
Doctor writing the word Allergy

August is always a stressful time for parents sending their kids back to school, especially for parents of children with severe allergies. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction resulting from exposure to allergens. Whether your child has a severe allergy or not, it is up to all of us to make sure that we keep schools as safe as possible for all children. Check out the tips and videos below to learn more about how you can protect your child and their classmates this school year.

Communicate

If you know your child has a severe allergy, it is extremely important to communicate with your school community about it. Make sure that all school personnel–including teachers, custodians, food staff and the school nurse–know the allergens that affect your child and what to do in case of an emergency.

Talk With Your Child

Make sure your child knows all of the allergens that affect them, understands how to avoid coming into contact with them and is able to tell their classmates about their allergy. If your child does not have a severe allergy, help them look out for their classmates by educating them on the telltale signs of anaphylaxis, such as hives, swelling or difficulty breathing.

Have an Epinephrine Auto-Injector on Hand at All Times

Think about all of the places your child visits frequently and consider having an epinephrine auto-injector available for them. Allergens could be hidden anywhere, so make sure your child is prepared for anything wherever they go. Also, be aware of the expiration dates of your epinephrine auto-injector and make sure to follow all storage instructions.

Get more info about anaphylaxis and how you and your child can be prepared this school year at PTA.org/Anaphylaxis.

Kayla Hewitt is a contributing writer for Our Children Magazine.

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