I know this is a dumb question, and one that needs to be addressed by my son's allergist, but all she told us was to use it if he has any symptoms beyond hives (drooling, wheezing, labored breathing, etc). That seems pretty black & white, but at the same time, in the midst of a reaction I've found myself not sure when to use it.
DS is 19m and is allergic to garlic (his most severe allergy), peanuts, eggs, and tree nuts. A few weeks ago he had an exposure to garlic. We noticed red spots on his face, and I immediately gave him Benadryl. Hives went away, and he seemed fine. He had a bath and went to bed like normal. Then an hour or so later he woke up screaming, so I went and got him and cuddled him on the couch. He was making and odd crying sound and grabbing at his throat. If it was that simple, I would have given him his EpiPen right then. But, he also had a cold/cough/sore throat at the time, and was congested. I ended up waiting it out and he fell asleep upright on my chest and was fine (but I was freaked out and sat on the couch holding him most of the night). That was the closest I have come to giving him his EpiPen. Since then I have done a little bit of research online and it seems that most places recommend giving the EpiPen when there is a known exposure. Now, he definitely reacts to garlic every time he is exposed, but his reaction never progresses beyond hives. So is he just not that allergic?