Guide to Babysitting
Children with Food Allergies


There is a lot to remember when taking care of kids with food allergies. Be ready for anything with our babysitter resources and guide to allergic reactions — whether it's your first time watching a child with food allergies or you just need a refresher.

Allergic Reactions

How to recognize a reaction

Although every reaction can be different, it helps to know what past reactions have looked like for every individual child, keeping in mind that future reactions may not be the same. Mild and severe symptoms may include:


Mild symptoms
runny nose
nasal congestion
itchy mouth
a few hives
irritated skin
mild nausea
slight cough
odd taste in mouth

Severe symptoms
shortness of breath
pale or blue skin
tight throat
trouble breathing
swollen lips or tongue
multiple hives
feeling of anxiety or doom


Spokin Tip: A child can communicate an allergic reaction in many ways (ex: my mouth feels spicy or my stomach is watery). Make sure you know how they have described reactions in the past.

What to do if the child has an allergic reaction

✔ Refer to the emergency action plan and know the specific care instructions for every scenario:

  • one mild reaction
  • multiple mild reactions
  • a severe reaction
  • Also provide instructions when the known allergen has been ingested but there are no visible symptoms. 

✔  Know where the auto-injectors or any other medicine or inhalers are stored.

✔ Know how to use the auto-injector trainer. Practice the trainer in front of the child's parent to ensure that you are using it correctly and feel prepared.

✔  Be clear on following the 3-step rule for a severe reaction: 


Spokin Babysitter Resources

Spokin has created auto-injector tutorial videos for Epi-Pen (available in English, Spanish, and Mandarin), Epi-Pen Generic, and Adrenaclick Generic — each under one minute long. We have also provided a video tutorial for AUVI-Q. 



Additional Resources