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Travelling with adrenaline pens

Things to do before you leave home

Inform the airline about your allergy before you travel. State that you need to carry adrenaline auto-injectors at all times and let them know the type of food to which you are allergic. However, remember that other passengers may bring foods onto the aircraft.

It is advisable to obtain a letter from your allergy team or GP, stating that you must carry antihistamine and two adrenaline auto-injectors at all times. If you need us to provide such a letter, please contact us at least 6 weeks before you travel.

Check the expiry dates on your antihistamine medicine and adrenaline auto-injectors so they are in date for the time you are away.

Wear an ‘Alert’ bracelet or necklace. This is an internationally recognised SOS symbol.


When travelling by air or sea, carry oral antihistamine such as chlorphenamine or cetirizine and adrenaline auto-injectors that are easily accessible in your hand luggage, not in your suitcase.

Security personnel will need to be informed that you are carrying emergency medication in your hand luggage and also that it may be in liquid form (antihistamine) and the adrenaline auto-injectors contain a sharp needle. We would advise that the medicines are in their original packaging with a prescription label specific to your child.

If you have requested a special meal, make sure staff are aware of your requirements. Remember those around you may be eating foods to which you are allergic. You may prefer to take your own food for the journey.

Are you confident to use your adrenaline pen?

It is a good idea to refresh your skills regularly. Practise with the trainer pen or expired devices before you go.

What you should do when you arrive at your holiday destination

  • Inform the holiday representatives and hotel chef about your allergies
  • Locate the resident doctor and nearest hospital
  • Find out the emergency number for the country you are visiting
  • Look after your adrenaline auto-injectors:
    • Avoid placing devices in direct sunlight (place in shade)
    • Avoid heat extremes (such as the glove box or car boot)
    • Do not refrigerate adrenaline auto-injectors

Contact the Anaphylaxis Campaign for emergency translation phrase cards for the language of the country you are visiting.

PO Box 275
GU14 6SX

Helpline telephone: 01252 542 029
Admin telephone: 01252 546100


Remember: be prepared. Carry your rescue medicines (antihistamine and adrenaline auto-injectors) with you at all times. Make sure friends and family know what to do if you have an allergic reaction.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: ALG2

Resource Type: Article


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