Families affected by peanut allergies should be vigilant when it comes to protecting their loved one’s health. An allergic reaction can strike with only a moment’s notice, so everyone should act quickly.
In consultation with a doctor, families typically have a peanut allergy treatment plan for day-to-day use. In order to make your lives even safer, you may want to consider an emergency plan for fast intervention.
What Is an Emergency Peanut Allergy Plan?
The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages families to have a step-by-step resource for parents and caregivers of children with allergies. Specifically, the emergency care plan (ECP) is designed to encourage epinephrine for first-line use to treat anaphylaxis, instead of relying on antihistamines.
According to the AAP, using epinephrine first can prevent a secondary reaction, long hospitalization or the potentially fatal consequences of going into anaphylactic shock. Since this is so important, an emergency care plan should make it easy to know how to administer epinephrine using an auto-injector.
How Do You Develop an ECP?
An emergency care plan should be easy to understand and follow. Imagine you are passing the plan on to a babysitter, neighbor or emergency care personnel who may be called to your home. Food Allergy Research and Education recommends having a document that lists allergens, reactions and treatments in an easy-to-read format.
FARE’s sample ECP gives specific instructions. For example, it advises giving epinephrine in the event of mild symptoms on more than one area of the body or severe symptoms in one area. An antihistamine is acceptable for a mild symptom in an isolated part of the body.
FARE has a sample ECP for download that you can fill in for your family members. This care plan uses icons and labels that make it easy for someone not familiar with allergies to know what to do, including how to use and administer an auto-injection of epinephrine. It also provides space for the names and numbers of emergency contacts, so your family knows who to call in a time of crisis.
Some government agencies also have alternative allergy emergency care plan templates that may be easier for you to use. Choose the document that works for your family and your situation.
Make an Appointment with an Allergy Specialist
Get started today towards better health with allergies. Make an appointment with our local allergy clinic in Little Rock or Conway, Arkansas. Contact the Arkansas Allergy & Asthma Clinic at (501) 227-5210 for more information.