Study: Guidelines for managing anaphylaxis in children need an update


A new study led by AllerGen researcher Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan suggests that treatment guidelines for managing anaphylaxis in children should be reassessed, and shows that pre-hospital treatment with epinephrine has the greatest protective effect against uncontrolled allergic reactions.

The research, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, involved nearly 3,500 patients, making it the largest study to assess the clinical outcomes of pre-hospital treatment of anaphylaxis. Of the patients examined, 80% were children aged one to 17 years. The patient data derived from AllerGen’s nationwide Cross-Canada Anaphylaxis REgistry (C-CARE) project, involving nine emergency departments in five provinces.

“We found that steroids, which are part of the treatment plan for managing anaphylaxis, can have a negative effect on patient outcomes,” says Dr. Ben-Shoshan.

“Our study also shows that the use of an epinephrine autoinjector in the pre-hospital setting has a significant positive impact on the clinical management of anaphylaxis—a much more significant protective effect than that achieved with antihistamines,” adds first author and AllerGen trainee Sofianne Gabrielli.

According to the researchers, these results suggest that current anaphylaxis management practices should be modified, at least as applies to the pre-hospital setting, to exclude steroids and to call for the administration of antihistamines only in conjunction with epinephrine in all cases of anaphylaxis.

“The findings from this study reinforce the need to equip individuals with the knowledge and confidence to assess the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, and to treat it swiftly with an epinephrine autoinjector when it occurs,” comments Jennifer Gerdts, a study co-author and Executive Director of Food Allergy Canada.

AllerGen Press Release

Bill C-451 a welcome step forward for child health in Canada

Toddler in t shirt.jpg

Children’s Healthcare Canada, the Paediatric Chairs of Canada and The Sandbox Project welcome the introduction of Bill C-451, An Act to Create a Children's Health Commissioner of Canada.

On May 16th, Dr. Kellie Leitch, Member of Parliament for Simcoe—Grey introduced Bill C-451 in an important step toward ensuring that child health is prioritized across government. Duties of the Commissioner will include raising public awareness of child and youth health issues; advising the Minister of Health on how proposed policy and legislation will affect child and youth health; and commissioning independent or joint research initiatives. This Private Member’s Bill is the long culmination of Dr. Leitch’s 2008 report entitled Reaching for the Top: A Report by the Advisor on Healthy Children and Youth, in which a key recommendation is the creation of a national office of child and youth health. The report also led to the founding by Dr. Leitch of The Sandbox Project, a national charity dedicated to improving child and youth health outcomes through cross-sector collaboration.

The time for a Children’s Health Commissioner is now. Many Canadians would be surprised to learn that Canada ranks near the bottom on several international health indicators, with Indigenous children and children with disabilities being the most impacted.

Canada faces increasingly complex challenges when it comes to child and youth health: The need for child and youth mental health services and supports is growing. Youth play a significant role in Canada’s opioid crisis, one of the gravest public health issues in Canada's recent history. Vaccine hesitancy has been identified by the World Health Organization as one of the top 10 global health threats in 2019, and 48 cases of measles have been reported already in Canada this year.

A Children’s Health Commissioner will increase coordination at the federal level and identify trends and promising practices across the provinces, territories and nations of Canada. By bringing best practices forward, they will add value to the investments already being made. Collaborating with policy makers, government agencies, parliamentary bodies and others, the Commissioner will amplify the voices of children and youth and be a champion for and with them.

Children’s Healthcare Canada, the Paediatric Chairs of Canada and The Sandbox Project are supportive of the recent discussions across Canada’s federal parties to establish a Commissioner to ensure the best interests of children and youth are taken into account. By investing now, Canada can provide children with the support and care they need to become healthy, active, well-adjusted and contributing adults in our society.

About Children’s Healthcare Canada

For Canadian leaders in children’s healthcare, we are the only national association that enables local improvements and contributes to system-wide change by building communities across the full continuum of care. Our members deliver health services to children and youth, and include regional health authorities, children’s tertiary/quaternary and rehabilitation hospitals, community hospitals, children’s treatment centers and home/respite care providers.

About the Paediatric Chairs of Canada

The Paediatric Chairs of Canada represents the 17 Canadian university affiliated teaching hospitals in Canada and is dedicated to providing national leadership in paediatric research and education to promote the health and health care of children and youth.

About The Sandbox Project

The Sandbox Project is about one thing: making Canada the healthiest place in the world for children to grow up by supporting their health, safety, and well-being. As an umbrella organization, Sandbox provides strategic leadership, facilitates collaboration and drives innovation among like-minded, child-focused organizations within Canada’s child and youth health arena. By providing a forum in which diverse stakeholders can work together, The Sandbox Project fosters cooperation, collaboration and the sharing of best practices – helping the entire sector make real, tangible progress towards delivering on the promise of healthier children and youth.

For more information

Marion Williams

Government Relations Specialist, Children’s Healthcare Canada

National Coordinator & Research Associate, Paediatric Chairs of Canada

(613) 253-2272


Mary-Ellen Rayner

Communications & Partnerships Lead, The Sandbox Project

(416) 554-2610

[Ontario] Wisdom2Action and School Mental Health Ontario Present: #HearNowON

Student Voices on Mental Health in Ontario

School Mental Health Ontario (SMHO-SMSO) and Wisdom2Action are collaborating on an initiative to engage secondary school students across Ontario about school-based mental health. #HearNowON will engage secondary students across Ontario through four regional forums in Thunder Bay, London, Toronto and Ottawa.

They will also be launching an online survey and other mechanisms for engagement and student voice over the coming weeks. The information gathered will help to shape SMHO-SMSO’s provincial student mental health engagement and leadership strategy. Launches Be There to help young people in Canada learn how to support each other through mental health struggles

As we kick-off Mental Health Week across the country,, the only Canadian charity that trains and empowers a network of young leaders who are revolutionizing mental health, is excited to launch Be There, a new online resource to help young people learn how to support each other through mental health struggles. The online resource helps fill the gap of the 61% of young people in Canada  that can recognize that someone is struggling but don't know what they can do to help. To learn more about how you can educate yourself to be there and support people that might be struggling with mental health in your life, visit

"Young people struggling with their mental health are encouraged to ask for help, but too often their friends and families don't know how to respond," said Jesse Hayman, Director of Development & Communications, "Just talking about mental health isn't enough; we need the knowledge, skills and confidence to step-up and be there for one another.  We worked with young people across Canada to create Be There with the goal to do just that."

Of 1,200 students surveyed across Canada, 83% said they've supported a friend struggling with their mental health but only 39% of them felt they were prepared to offer the support that was needed.  At the foundation of Be There are the 5 Golden Rules, which through tips, videos and personal stories, educates people on topics like:

  • Say What You See - How to break the ice and start a conversation

  • Show You Care - How to build trust and support someone

  • Hear Them Out - How to be a good listener and balance the conversation

  • Know Your Role - How to set boundaries to protect your relationship and mental health

  • Connect to Help - How to access professional and community resource

For more information or to learn more about how we can all better support one another, please visit