Anaphylaxis kits and Adrenaline Auto Injectors (AAIs)
It's good practice for schools to store an emergency anaphylaxis kit which includes:
- 1 or more Adrenaline Auto Injectors (AAI's) and instructions on how to use them
- a checklist of injectors (identified by their batch number and expiry date with monthly checks recorded)
- a note of the arrangements for replacing the injectors
- a list of pupils to whom the AAI can be administered
This should be kept alongside an emergency asthma inhaler kit (containing a salbutamol inhaler device and spacer). This is because many food-allergic children also have asthma, and asthma is a common symptom during food-induced anaphylaxis.
Adrenaline Auto Injectors and EpiPens
Spare Adrenaline Auto Injectors (AAI's) can be purchased for emergency use for children who are at risk of anaphylaxis.
They should only to be used on pupils:
- known to be at risk of anaphylaxis
- both medical authorisation and written parental consent for use of the spare AAI has been provided
The spare / back-up device is not a replacement for a pupil’s own AAI(s).
Where to purchase
You can buy an anaphylaxis kit online or from a local pharmacist, without a prescription.
A supplier will need a request signed by the principal or head teacher (ideally on appropriate headed paper) stating:
- the name of the school for which the product is required;
- the purpose for which that product is required, and
- the total quantity required.
A template letter can be found in the guidance for schools on creating a policy around the use of emergency auto-injectors (AAI).
A number of different brands are available in different doses depending on the manufacturer. Please speak to your local pharmacist about which brand you should keep in school.
Buying multiple kits and where to store
We recommend buying more than one kit. Keep one near the central dining area and another near the playground. This helps to make sure they are always close by.
When buying multiple kits, make sure:
- they are not locked away in a cupboard or an office where access is restricted
- spare AAI devices are kept separate from pupil's own prescribed AAI and are clearly labelled
Updating your medicines policy
Your medicines policy should be amended to include AAI(s) or separate policy can be implemented to include:
- arrangements for the supply, storage, care, and disposal of spare AAI(s)
- a register of pupils who have been prescribed an AAI(s) (or where a doctor has provided a written plan recommending AAI(s) to be used in the event of anaphylaxis)
- written consent of use from the pupil’s parent/legal guardian as part of a pupil’s individual healthcare plan
- use of spare AAI is used only where both medical authorisation and written parental consent have been provided
- appropriate support and training for staff
- keeping records of use of any AAI(s), informing parents / carers it has been administered - whether this was the school’s spare AAI or the pupil’s own device
What to do in an emergency
When dialling 999, give clear and precise directions to the emergency operator, including the postcode of your location.
If the pupil's condition deteriorates and a second dose adrenaline is administered after making the initial 999 call, make a second call to the emergency services to confirm that an ambulance has been dispatched.
Send someone outside to direct the ambulance paramedics when they arrive and tell the paramedics:
- if the child is known to have an allergy
- what might have caused this reaction e.g. recent food
- the time the AAI was given