Prepare for food allergy emergencies

A box of bandages just won’t do for a food allergy crisis. Even diligent efforts at allergen avoidance can be thwarted. You never know when a severe food allergy reaction can occur and require emergency response actions. Serious reactions are often unexpected, sudden and require immediate attention. Time is of the essence when there is a risk of an anaphylactic reaction, an extreme, often life-threatening allergic reaction. So like Scouts, its best to “be prepared” with both plans in place and an emergency kit. Following are some suggestions for both.


  1. Wear a food allergy awareness bracelet
  2. Prepare an Emergency Action Plan
  3. Schedule Calendar alerts for updating allergy-related information and Emergency Kits

Emergency Kit

  1. Decide where emergency kits are needed: home, school and travel/car
  2. Store kits in a temperature-controlled area
  3. Use an easily accessible, durable case that is clearly marked
  4. Supplies:
  • 2 epinephrine auto-injectors, if prescribed
  • Oral antihistamines
  • Small tube of hydrocortisone ointment (for topical application)
  • Fast acting asthma medication (if prescribed)
  • A copy of your Emergency Action Plan
  • “IF FOUND” info card for the emergency kit to be returned

Supply sources suggestions:

Bracelets- Fashionable food allergy bracelets are available that will suit the needs and style of anyone. Consider your local pharmacy or take a look at these website offerings:

  1. Food allergy Research and Education (FARE) has an online store with bracelets and other emergency-related supplies 
  2. Allerbling bracelets are both an educational tool and conversation piece
  3. Medicalert has a variety of choices

What do you keep in your food allergy emergency kit?

-Jody L. Benitz, MS, RDN

Published: 04/24/2015
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