Consider a child who has a severe and potentially life threatening allergy. A severe allergic reaction can occur within minutes of a child’s exposure to an allergen and they must be treated with their emergency medicine as soon as possible. This is where an Emergency Action Plan comes in.
What is an Emergency Action Plan?
An Emergency Action Plan is a critical document in managing medicines safely because it describes in one place everything your staff need to know to follow an emergency scenario through to conclusion.
In an emergency you do not want your staff having to refer to multiple documents. A plan will set out the priority order in which actions should take place and it should define when medicine should be administered. If the course of action is dependent on the type of symptoms then these must be listed alongside the actions to take. For example, in an allergic reaction mild symptoms may require antihistamines to be administered but severe symptoms may require an EpiPen.
The action plan should state the dosage and method of administration, and, if relevant, who is trained to give it. Overall, the plan must give your staff the information to act fast and with confidence.
Creating an Emergency Action Plan
When a child with medical needs joins your program you should draw up an individual Health Care Plan or special care plan which identifies the level of support that is needed.
This will help you determine whether staff need to be trained to administer medicines or trained in certain
emergency procedures. If the child requires medicines, you should have a Medicine Information Form which you complete with the parents to collect information about the medicine and its usage.
These forms are also used to obtain permission from parents for you to administer medicines on their behalf. The Health Care Plan and Medicine Information Form can both be used to create the Emergency Action Plan.
Below is a checklist for information that needs to be on the Emergency Action Plan:
• Identification of the child: child’s name, date of birth, recent photograph of child
• Medical condition
• Note to check any previous doses of medicines
• List of mild or moderate symptoms
• Actions to take if mild or moderate symptoms are seen
• List of severe symptoms
• Actions to take if severe symptoms are seen
• Space on plan for staff to write times when medicine is administered (these can be
written into other medicine logs when the emergency is over)
• Instructions to give Ambulance Staff a log of any other medicines administered
The actions in the plan should include:
• Medicine location
• Medicine dosage
• How to administer the medicine (e.g. how to give an EpiPen injection)
• Contact details in priority order (e.g. 999, GP, hospital specialist, family)
About the Guest Author :
Role: Business Systems Director, of Medilert
I have worked in the web development industry since 1999 and used this experience to
develop Medilert. Medilert makes it safer for nurseries to manage medicines by recording
all the medicines you store at your settings and notifying you when they are going to
expire. We also provide all the forms you need to implement effective medicine
management procedures. Medilert shows that you are safeguarding your
children’s health and ensures that you do not breach your Duty of Care.
I was inspired to develop Medilert after encountering problems with my children’s
medicines in their nursery. Both my children suffer with egg allergies. My daughter suffered
a reaction in her nursery and required allergy relief medicine. My son’s nursery asked me
to renew the medicine that was in their care but this medicine was already 3 months out of
How to contact Colin:
Phone: 0844 561 8880
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