Ideally, all school personnel and others who are in regular contact with students should learn how to use an epinephrine auto-injector. For more information on epinephrine see Anaphylaxis 101 and Daily Living.

Epinephrine is the drug of choice to treat anaphylaxis. It is the drug form of a hormone (adrenaline) that the body produces naturally and helps to reverse symptoms of an allergic reaction by:
  • opening the airways
  • improving blood pressure
  • accelerating heart rate

Do not be afraid to use epinephrine auto-injectors. They are easy to use and will not harm a healthy person even if given unnecessarily. The two auto-injectors available in Canada are EpiPenĀ® or Allerject™. Training devices are a good way to learn how to use an auto-injector. Check out EpiPenĀ® or Allerject™ for more information.

  • Auto-injectors should be easily accessible to all staff members and not locked in cupboards or drawers.
  • Children at risk (who are mature enough) should carry their own auto-injectors at all times and have a back-up available in their school or childcare centre.
  • In the case of very young children, their auto-injectors should be close at hand, e.g., kept accessible in the classroom out of reach of other children or carried by staff.
  • Check expiry dates regularly.
  • Take additional auto-injectors on field trips and outings.
  • Keep back-up devices on hand as a precautionary measure since a second dose may be needed.
  • Include an epinephrine auto-injector as a standard item in a first-aid kit.