Allergy emergency kits are especially useful for children with food allergies who spend time away from home, but may be useful for many people at risk of anaphylaxis. This allergy emergency kit is intended for true --- that is, IgE-mediated --- food allergies. Many of the items included in this kit, such as injectable epinephrine and antihistamines, will have no effect on food intolerances (like celiac disease or lactose intolerance) or other food sensitivities.
The information here is general-purpose and cannot substitute for the advice of your own allergist or general practitioner.
Decide where you would like to have kits. Some options might be:
- At schools, daycare centers, or preschools
- In a predetermined place where they can be packed for travel
- In a medicine cabinet or another safe place in the home
- In a cabinet or desk at work.
Wherever you decide to have a kit, make sure to store the kit in a temperature-controlled area and to keep a list of where your kits are stored in your planner or with your financial documents so that you will remember to update the kits on a regular basis.
Assemble supplies for the kits. For each kit, include:
- Injectable epinephrine (Epipen or Twinject), if prescribed, along with written instructions for administering it
- Oral antihistamines, such as Benadryl
- Fast-acting asthma medication, if applicable and prescribed
- A durable card (laminated, if possible) including the name and phone number of your physician, the hospital you prefer to be taken to, contact information for family members, and insurance information
- Any other items your allergist has recommended you keep handy in case of severe reaction.
Store these items in a durable case, clearly marked.
Educate as necessary. In the case of schools, daycares, and preschools, your kit will likely be a major part of your 504 Plan or allergy management plan. For adults, however, you will want to let a couple of trusted coworkers know what symptoms to watch for and where your emergency kit is stored. You will want to let babysitters or family members who watch your allergic child at home know the same.
Update regularly. At least once a year, check each of your emergency kits to be sure that none of your medications have expired and replace as necessary. Also, make sure the insurance and emergency contact information on your card is current.
To make sure you update the kits regularly, consider updating them on the birthday of the person the kit is for, or at the same time you change your clocks for daylight savings.
Make sure whoever will use the kits knows the signs of anaphylaxis.
What You Need
- Emergency Contact List
- Insurance & Medical Information