First aid treatment for anaphylaxis in children & babies

Ensuring child safety: First aid treatment for anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction, can occur swiftly and without warning in children and babies. As caregivers and educators, understanding how to recognize and respond to anaphylaxis is paramount. In this blog, Rose delves into crucial aspects of anaphylaxis management, equipping you with the essential knowledge to safeguard the health and well-being of the young ones in your care.

Key facts and statistics

  • Anaphylaxis affects approximately 1 in 200 children, with food allergies being the most common trigger.
  • Delayed or inadequate treatment can lead to fatal consequences, emphasising the urgency of swift intervention.
  • Research indicates a rising prevalence of anaphylaxis among children, underlining the pressing need for heightened awareness and preparedness.

Key definitions

  • Anaphylaxis - An immediate and severe allergic reaction that can be life-threatening.
  • Epinephrine - The primary medication used to treat anaphylaxis, administered via an auto-injector (e.g., EpiPen).

Legislation, regulations, and best practice

  • The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 in the UK mandate that workplaces, schools, and childcare settings have appropriate first aid provisions, including anaphylaxis management.
  • Educational institutions should develop allergy management policies outlining procedures for preventing, recognising, and treating anaphylaxis among students.

Recognising anaphylaxis symptoms

  • Symptoms may include difficulty breathing, swelling of the face and throat, rapid heartbeat, and loss of consciousness.
  • Symptoms can manifest as fussiness, irritability, or difficulty feeding in infants and young children.

Immediate response

  • Administer epinephrine - If equipped with an auto-injector, promptly administer epinephrine into the outer thigh muscle.
  • Call emergency services - Dial emergency services (999 in the UK) for immediate medical assistance.
  • Monitor vital signs - Stay with the child, monitoring their breathing and consciousness while awaiting medical help.

Preventative measures

  • Identify and avoid known allergens, such as peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, and dairy products.
  • Educate caregivers, teachers, and peers about the child's allergies and emergency procedures.
  • Develop an anaphylaxis action plan detailing specific steps to take in the event of an allergic reaction.


  • Conduct regular anaphylaxis training sessions for staff members, ensuring they are proficient in recognising and managing allergic emergencies.
  • Establish clear communication channels with parents/guardians to obtain comprehensive allergy information and updates.
  • Review and update allergy management policies and procedures regularly to reflect current best practices.


By prioritising anaphylaxis awareness and preparedness, we can mitigate the risks associated with severe allergic reactions in children and babies. Through proactive education, swift intervention, and adherence to best practices, we empower ourselves to provide a safe and nurturing environment for every child in our care.

Click here to enhance your knowledge and preparedness in anaphylaxis management.Together, let's ensure the well-being of our little ones is safeguarded at all times.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always seek professional medical assistance in emergency situations.

About the author

Rose Mabiza

Rose has dedicated over 15 years to improving health and social care quality through practice, targeted education and training. Her extensive experience includes working with older adults, individuals with mental health conditions, and people with autism and learning disabilities.

Ensuring child safety: First aid treatment for anaphylaxis - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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