Some people also worry about harming a child if it turns out the epinephrine wasn't really needed. But epinephrine pens are safe and may cause a temporarily fast heart rate; that's about it, Friedman said.
That's one message Able tries to make sure her friends and relatives understand when she hands them her daughter's epinephrine pen.
"I always stress, 'Even if there is a suspicion she needs it, please give it. Don't hesitate. I will never be mad if you give the shot,' " Able said. "You can't hurt a child by giving that dose of epinephrine. But the consequences for not doing it could be fatal."
The California Department of Education has more on how to use an epinephrine pen.
Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.