Allergy Action Plans for Children

November 2016

General Practitioners

Country of origin: UK

New national Allergy Action Plans have been developed by doctors in an effort to protect children at risk of life-threatening allergic reactions.

The plans, released by the Paediatric Allergy Group of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) and endorsed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), allow health professionals to provide clear instructions on the first aid management of potentially life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis). They can then be used by parents, teachers and others without any special medical training to treat severe reactions in children and ensure the most timely and effective care.

"Currently, many different plans are used in the UK, dependent on local and regional practice, which can cause confusion to parents, school staff and health professionals alike” said Dr Paul Turner, who coordinated the plans with Dr George Du Toit, on behalf of the BSACI.

“It’s always difficult for doctors to predict which allergy sufferers may be at risk of severe, life-threatening allergic reactions. These plans can be used by GPs, hospital doctors and other health professionals to provide guidance on how to manage allergic reactions.”

The plans have been welcomed by parents, teachers and support groups, including the Anaphylaxis Campaign and Allergy UK. An estimated 6% of children in the UK (approximately 780,000) suffer from food allergies alone and there has been a 400% increase in the prescription of Adrenaline injector devices in the UK over the past decade.

Professor John Warner, a paediatrician specialising in paediatric allergy, who was involved in developing the plans, added:
“We have been very concerned that carers and young people find handling an acute allergy very stressful, leading to hesitation in using rescue treatment. The action plans will guide carers in recognising and treating allergic reactions in order to prevent them evolving into life-threatening events.”

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