5 Ways to Be Prepared for an Allergy Emergency Quick action is essential during a serious allergic reaction. Kind of like a fire drill, it's smart to occasionally review the instructions your doctor gave you and run through the steps you would take in an emergency. Here are the top things to know if you're at risk for anaphylaxis: If your doctor has prescribed an epinephrine injector for emergencies, make sure it is always with you: at school, at a party, on vacation — everywhere. Work with your school to decide where the injector will be stored and how you'll get it quickly, if needed. Don't leave it in the car or anywhere else where it might get too hot; temperature (even body temperature) can affect how well epinephrine works. Know the signs of a serious reaction, such as difficulty breathing and wheezing, and be ready to act quickly. Follow the instructions your doctor has given you. Practice how to use the epinephrine injector so you don't forget. Are there caps to remove? Which end rests on the skin? Where on the body do you give the injection? How do you hold the syringe and release the medicine? Ask for a demonstration at your doctor's office. Visit the manufacturer's website to get detailed instructions. Manufacturers also may supply a practice syringe that is not loaded with epinephrine, so you can practice all the steps safely. If you have a reaction that seems to be anaphylaxis, give yourself the injection right away. Have someone call 911 while you are giving yourself the injection. If you are alone, call 911 right after injecting epinephrine or get to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible. Sometimes people have a second wave of symptoms that need medical care. Take the used epinephrine container to the hospital with you. Store the epinephrine injector according to the manufacturer's directions. Note its expiration date and get a new one when the one you have expires. Back to Articles Related Articles Allergies Your eyes itch, your nose is running, you're sneezing, and you're covered in hives. The enemy known as allergies has struck again. Read More Food Allergies and Travel Taking precautions and carrying meds are just part of normal life for someone who has a food allergy. Here are some tips on how to make travel also feel perfectly routine. Read More Food Allergies: How to Cope With food allergies, preventing a reaction means avoiding that food entirely. But sometimes allergens can be hidden in places you don't expect. Here are tips on living with a food allergy. Read More Nut and Peanut Allergy Peanuts are one of the most common allergy-causing foods, and they often find their way into things you wouldn't imagine. Learn the facts on living with a nut or peanut allergy. Read More My Friend Has a Food Allergy. How Can I Help? Although food allergies are more common than ever, people who have them may feel different or embarrassed. A good friend can really help. Read More Hives (Urticaria) Hives cause raised red bumps or welts on the skin. They're pretty common and usually not serious. Find out what to do about hives in this article for teens. Read More Serious Allergic Reactions (Anaphylaxis) A person with severe allergies can be at risk for a sudden, serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This reaction can seem scary, but the good news is it can be treated. Read More Food Allergies Doctors are diagnosing more and more people with food allergies. Knowing what to expect and how to deal with food allergies can make a big difference in preventing serious illness. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.