Food allergic kids should carry two doses of epinephrine. This news came out of a recent study at Children’s Hospital Boston.

Susan Rudders and colleagues reported on approximately 1200 food allergic children who were treated at two Boston hospitals for food allergic reactions between 2001 and 2006. The children averaged to be about 6 years of age.

When the original group of 1200 was narrowed to those with severe reactions only, it was discovered that 44 percent received a single does of epinephrine and 12 percent received more than one dose.

31 percent of the children with severe reactions received a single dose of epinephrine and 3 percent received two doses prior to arriving at the hospital. 20 percent received one dose of epinephrine and 1 percent received more than one dose at the hospital.

What researchers find frightening is that half of the children with severe food allergic reactions did not receive epinephrine at all. When the children from this study left the hospital, fewer than half were given a prescription for epinephrine and less than 22 percent were told to see an allergist even though many of them had severe reactions.

If you or your child has a history of severe allergic reactions, you should get a prescription for epinephrine from your doctor and learn how to use it. Allergic individuals should always carry two doses in the event both are needed or one malfunctions.

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