Allergic reactions, or anaphylaxis, in children can be frightening for every parents. For such harmful and serious allergens, which can be even life threatening, keeping an EpiPen at handy is important for the benefit of your child. An EpiPen is an emergency counter-allergen device, which injects adrenaline and treats the allergic reaction, and is basically an epinephrine auto-injector. The adrenaline shot into the child will reverse the severity of the allergic reaction and save the life of a child. In addition, the epinephrine narrows the blood vessels and opens the lungs’ airways.
In the U.S., at least 100 people, including kids, die of an allergic reaction. Food allergies in children have risen to 4% in the U.S. alone and continue to grow. EpiPens is also used to treat allergic reactions to insect bites or stings, various drugs, and many allergens. In order to learn the correct use of the EpiPen, follow these steps:
When to Use the EpiPen
The symptoms of a an allergic reaction are: breathing problems, swelling, itching, nausea or vomiting. The body systems are mainly impacted in an allergic reaction, which include the respiratory system (causing wheezing and trouble in swallowing or breathing), cardiovascular system (making the sufferer weak and dizzy, with a drop in blood pressure), the gastrointestinal system (leading to nausea and vomiting), and the cutaneous (with hives and rashes appearing on the skin).
How to Use the EpiPen
- Remove the EpiPen from the container, and form a fist around it to hold it correctly. Keep the epinephrine shot in the hand with the black or orange tip pointing downwards. Do not touch the EpiPen’s tip.
- Remove the blue or gray safety release cap.
- Hold the tip close the child’s outer thigh, and jab it firmly into the center of the thigh, which is the softest area of the leg. Try to jab through bare skin. The injector must go directly into the skin and a 90-degree angle to the child’s thigh. The injector should not be shot into the vein or buttock of the child.
- Keep the injector this way in the thigh for 10 seconds, and then remove it. It is normal if some of the li
quid is left in it. Place your hand over the area where the medicine was entered and rub it for 10 seconds.
- Screw on the cap of the Epipen and immediately take your child to the emergency room with the used injector.
- Keep at least 2 EpiPens at home for your child, as the first attempt may go wrong.
- Replace it yearly, as it expires within a year.
- Call an ambulance when the child has an allergic reaction, and must visit the doctor after the injector has been used.