Since the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic started, doctors have changed how families can manage symptoms if their child has an anaphylactic reaction. Learn how to manage anaphylaxis symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How Can I Manage My Child's Anaphylaxis Symptoms?

As always, if your child is having a severe allergic reaction or the reaction affects their breathing, give epinephrine right away. Follow the Anaphylaxis Action Plan from your child’s allergy doctor.

What is New During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Instead of calling 911 after giving epinephrine, doctors now recommend giving epinephrine and waiting 5-10 minutes to see if your child’s symptoms get better.

  • After giving epinephrine, call your child’s allergy doctor for next steps.
  • If symptoms do not get better or if they recur, call 911.

Waiting to see if your child’s symptoms get better may help prevent COVID-19 from spreading outside the hospital. It also reduces the workload on emergency care providers.

Important Things to Know

  • In most cases, giving epinephrine right away helps an allergic reaction without more treatment. Give epinephrine as soon as possible.
  • Epinephrine is safe when used correctly. Doctors recommend calling 911 after giving epinephrine in case your child needs more medical care or if they have a second allergic reaction (called biphasic reaction).
  • Always keep a second dose of epinephrine on hand. This is very important if you are watching your child at home after an allergic reaction.

Check Your Child’s Anaphylaxis Action Plan

Symptoms of an anaphylaxis may look different for everyone. Check your child’s Anaphylaxis Action Plan for a full list of anaphylaxis symptoms.

If you do not have access to your child’s plan, click here (PDF) for an Anaphylaxis Action Plan from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Contact Information

Food Allergy Center
MassGeneral Hospital for Children
Professional Office Building
275 Cambridge St, 5th floor
Boston, MA 02114

Clinic: 617-726-8707

To page the allergist on call, call 617-726-2000. Ask to speak with the pediatric allergist on call. The pediatric allergist will return your call.

Rev. 4/2020. MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.