Everyone should know how to use an EpiPen

Image: Supplied
Image: Supplied 

As a parent of a child who has a peanut allergy, I've seen my share of allergy sceptics. Sometimes they come at you from the least expected places - friends and even family might not take a child's food allergy seriously.

And sometimes a complete stranger shows the utmost care and consideration, and is as careful as you would be.

Imagine that around every corner, there was a risk that your child could be fatally injured. That's what living with anaphylaxis is like; constantly living in the very real (rather than abstract) fear that your child could die suddenly.

That fear only gets worse as they get older - with increased independence comes the increased risk that they will suffer an anaphylactic episode while not in your care. And the stats show that the greatest risk is in the teen years.

Satay and peanut butter jokes are not funny either, for that matter. For us, it's like joking about cancer.

Everyone should know how to use an EpiPen, whether you are touched by allergies or not, knowing how to use one could save someone's life one day.

There were some recent changes to the instructions about how to use an EpiPen, so make sure you're up to date by watching the short video below. 

There are two types - the EpiPen and the EpiPen Jr for children. They are both operated in exactly the same way.

You can also train the children in your household to use them. With the massive increase in childhood allergies, you never know when they need to step up to help someone.​