The number of people with allergies are growing year by year. Almost half of all school children deal with some form of common allergy and nearly 40% of children have had severe allergic reactions. If you have allergies that may be life threatening, you should probably carry an allergy kit.
It could save your life.
This isn't an exaggeration. I have severe allergies and have wound up in the hospital more than once because of them. Every 3 minutes a person has to go to the emergency room from a reaction to food. Teenagers and young adults are most likely to die from allergic reactions. Why? Because they don't carry their EpiPen. If you have just been diagnosed with a severe allergy, here is a list of must-haves to keep on your person at all times.
If you don't take anything else away from this list, this is the one to remember. You may be intimidated by shots, but EpiPens have saved my life more than once. Yes, they suck. I hate having to use them, but it is much better to deal with the two-second pitch and the jitters than to suffocate. CARRY AN EPIPEN! At least one! It is better if you carry more than that in case the effects of the EpiPen wear off before you can get help. You should also carry one in case someone else needs one.
2. Toothbrush and Toothpaste
This probably seems weird. Why would you carry around a toothbrush all day? What if someone sees you with it? My toothbrush saved me last week. Who cares if someone looks at you weird when you open your purse and it is there? If you have nuts ground into your teeth, brush it out! This is so important! You don't want it to sit in there and cause your mouth to swell, especially if you caught yourself and didn't swallow like I did. A toothbrush can save you a trip to the emergency room.
After brushing your teeth after a mess-up or if you feel mild symptoms, it is a good idea to take some Benedryl. It gets rid of the itchiness and calms your body down. This is good to have on you if you have minor or seasonal allergies as well.
It is very common to experience asthma-like symptoms or breathing problems during an allergic reaction. An inhaler can help open up your airways.
5. Hand Sanitizer
You should have this on you anyway, but it can come in handy if you need to rid your hands of an allergen.
6. Contact Information and Medical Information
They sell bracelets and necklaces that have your allergies on them here. They also have instructions on who to call in an emergency. This is not for you. This is for the person who finds you when you can't breathe. If you can't get to your EpiPen on time, one of these bracelets can instruct someone on how to get you help. If you don't want a bracelet, you should at least have this information in an easy to see place. In other words, help others help you. It is also helpful to have your basic information written down. Example: your name, birth date, etc. You can give this to the EMTs so that they don't have to keep asking you the same questions over and over again.
Here is an example of a kit a mother made for her baby.
Keep this kit on you at all times! Make sure to switch it over when you change bags; you don't want to be caught without your EpiPen. Also make sure to frequently check expiration dates. EpiPens will still work for a little bit after they expire and it is better than nothing, but they lose their strength significantly. Remember, this is your life at stake, treat it at such.
Phew! I feel itchy just talking about this! I hope that this helps some of you! Those of you that are long-time allergy veterans like me, feel free to suggest more things to put on this list! Better to be safe than sorry!