Menu

Education Today Logo


newsletter

Education Today Cover Browse Issue

Adults don't know how to treat an allergic reaction

Commissioned by Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) and conducted by Galaxy Research the findings are based on responses from a representative sample of 1000 Australian adults and showed: 

  • 69% would not know how to help someone having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)

  • 70% did not know how to use a potentially life-saving adrenaline autoinjector (or EpiPen) and nearly 31% didn’t know what an adrenaline autoinjector was

  • 56% thought people with a food allergy were “over cautious” about what they ate and 27% said there was “a lot of fuss” about food allergy and we had become “over-protective”

  • Only 4% knew that you could be allergic to any food and 49% did not know that you could develop an allergy to a food that you have eaten before without a reaction

“To have any chance of preventing food allergic reactions, including fatalities, we need to significantly increase community awareness so that those with food allergy can work toward avoidance and everyone can spot the signs of anaphylaxis and know what to do in an emergency," said Maria Said, A&AA CEO.

“Community education is essential to prevent life threatening reactions including fatalities and this new research shows we have a huge task ahead of us. The research also found most Australians (62%) would like to have a better understanding about food allergy."

It is estimated that more than 650,000 Australians have a diagnosed food allergy with around 30,000 new cases in Australia every year.

The study also showed while most respondents were aware that more common allergies like peanut (81%), shellfish (65%) and seafood (52%) could be life-threatening, few realised that reactions to any food including other triggers like banana (8%), kiwifruit (9%), and celery (6%) could also be potentially fatal.

Allergic reaction symptoms

One or more of the following symptoms can indicate a severe allergic reaction:

– Dizziness
– Collapse
– Pale and floppy (young children)
– Swelling of the tongue
– Difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice
– Difficult breathing/noisy breathing
– Wheeze or persistent cough
– Swelling or tightness in the throat

It is important to remember a mild or moderate allergic reaction can quickly progress to anaphylaxis.

First aid

1. Lay person flat and raise their legs if possible (if breathing is difficult allow to sit)
2. Administer the adrenaline autoinjector (EpiPen)
3. Call an ambulance
4. Call their emergency contact
5. After 5 minutes, if there is no response or their condition is worsening, administer a second adrenaline autoinjector (if available)

If someone with known food or insect allergy suddenly develops severe asthma-like symptoms, give adrenaline autoinjector FIRST, then asthma reliever.


16 Jan 2018 | Melbourne
Independent schooling out of reach? Possibly not News Image

Just under half a million dollars to educate a child in the independent system in Australia. It’s a very scary number but while you could spend that amount accessing a private education you actually don’t have to. Read More

15 Jan 2018 | Melbourne
Animals help refugee kids News Image

Getting through a refugee camp requires you to be tough but reentering a society means you have to develop a sense of empathy and the ability to open up. Interacting with animals has been shown to help the process. Read More

11 Jan 2018 | Paris
UN guidance on sexuality education News Image

At a time when relations between the sexes is constantly in the headlines some guidance on how to approach sex education in a responsible and aware manner is timely. Read More

10 Jan 2018 | Queensland
Talking AI to the next generation News Image

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to be everywhere soon if it isn’t already, thing is there are big gaps in our knowledge as to what exactly it is and what it is capable of. Read More

10 Jan 2018 | Hong Kong
Be the world expert on your kids News Image

Dr Michael Carr-Gregg calls for parents to adjust their approach to parenting in the information age and it means getting out of your helicopter, learning to say no, being consistent and being on the lookout for boredom. Read More