Schools and teachers

Video 22 of 30
2 min 56 sec

When you're dealing with an anaphylactic emergency in either a child or an adult, the actual treatment is the same. However, when you're dealing with a child there are certain other things you need to think about. One of these is that the fact that the child is going to be very scared, maybe they've had an anaphylactic reaction before, and now they're really worried because they know what it's like. So, you have to guide them through using their auto-injector as quickly as possible. The quicker the drug is injected into the child, the quicker the problem will go away. The child will know this and you need to encourage them to inject themselves without delay, to therefore make themselves feel better.

The child may be scared about putting the needle into themselves but again, just try and tell them that the drug will help them and it will make them feel better very quickly.

There are other things that need to be taken into account when working with children. These may be written policies from an employer, duty of care, and you may need to have a signature from the parent who could possibly allow you to administer the drug to the child should there be an emergency.

There will also be other records that you need to keep, such as:

- What are the names of the children in school or a play centre that have anaphylaxis, what drug do they use, where are the drugs kept, what does the prescription say, how is it delivered, do they need one or two auto-injectors?

- Do the children carry it with them to class or is it stored in a special location?

- All these types of record-keeping will be planned out by your employer, so it's important to find out exactly what their policies are in relation to the storage of anaphylactic medication, and also what their treatment policies are.

The first aid procedures will be the same. Activate the emergency services, give the patient their drug, but also consider other policies that may differ from one workplace to another. If you're working with children on a day-to-day basis, the most important thing you can do is talk to their parents or guardians. They should be able to give you all the information you need to best care for their child. So when you're talking to the parents, make sure you understand whether or not they've had an anaphylactic problem in the past. If so, how did they handle it? It may be that the parent says that the child is very adult about it and they just get their auto-injector out and deliver the drug without fuss. Others may say that the child gets very upset and scared. The more information you have the better.

As somebody looking after children it may well be that you have quite a few in your care, so make sure that you keep their records up to date. Also, talk to the children themselves, they will be able to help you. Make sure you know and understand any developments with their treatment. Just keep reminding them where their drugs and treatments are, so you're communicating with the child and they know how important it is.