The following information is taken from the discharge instruction that Cardon Children's Medical Center gave us the day we took our daughter to the emergency after she had a severe allergic reaction on the food that she ate. I am posting this vital information in the hope that it will help parents whose children (baby, toddler, and older) have allergy problems.
Allergic Reaction, Other (General) [Child]
Some children's immune systems are very sensitive. Exposure to one or more allergens (substances that cause allergies) stimulates the body to release chemicals, including histamine. Histamine causes swelling and itching. The reaction may affect the entire body. This is called a general allergic reaction.
Common allergy symptoms include a runny nose, watery eyes, or an itchy eyes, nose, or roof of mouth. Repeated sneezing or coughing, a stuffy nose, and ear fullness or popping may also occur. In addition to the above symptoms, the skin may break out in hives or in red purple spots. More severe symptoms include nausea and vomiting, swelling of the face and mouth, and trouble breathing. Severe allergies can cause shock. Symptoms of shock include cold, clammy bluish skin, and a fast, but weak heartbeat.
A general allergic reaction can be triggered by many different allergens. Common allergens include the environment (such as pollen, mold, mildew, and dust), certain products (such as those made from natural rubber latex), and even some plants or animals. Symptoms usually respond quickly to antihistamines, steroids, and sometimes pain medication. Severe reactions may require a stay in the hospital.
The doctor may prescribe medications to relieve swelling, itching, and possibly pain. If your child had a severe reaction, the doctor may prescribe an epinephrine kit (EpiPen). Epinephrine will stop the progression of an allergic reaction. Ensure that you understand when and how to use this medication.
- Try to identify and avoid the problem allergen. Future reactions may be worse. If your child is found to have a serious allergy, have your child wear a Medic Alert bracelet or dog tag that identifies allergy.
- Keep a record of symptoms, when they occurred, and any problem allergens. This will help your doctor determine future care for your child.
- Instruct all care providers and school officials about your child's allergic reaction and how to use any prescribed medication.
- Try to prevent your child from scratching any affected areas.
- Avoid air pollution, tobacco, and wood smoke, and cold temperatures. They can make allergy symptoms worse.
GET PROMPT MEDICAL ATTENTION if any of the following occur:
- Trouble breathing or swallowing, wheezing, hives, face or lip swelling, drooling, vomiting, or explosive diarrhea. CALL 911.
- Fever greater than 100.4°F (38°C)
- Continuing or recurring symptoms