Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Sherri's Helpful Hints

Allergic Reactions in Children

Allergic reactions can be triggered by foods, medications, insect stings, pollen or other substances. Although most allergic reactions aren't serious, severe reactions can be life-threatening and can require immediate medical attention.

Signs and Symptoms:

Mild Reaction:
Mild skin redness or swelling
Stuffy, runny nose
Itchy, Watery Eyes
Red bumps (hives) that occur anywhere on the body

Severe Reaction:
Swelling of the face or mouth
Difficulty swallowing or speaking
Wheezing or difficulty breathing
Abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting
Dizziness or fainting

What to Do

1. Contact a doctor if a child has an allergic reaction that is more than mild or the reaction concerns you.
2. If the child has symptoms of a mild reaction, give an oral antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (benadryl).
3. If the child has symptoms of a severe allergic reaction and you have injectable epinephrine, immediately use it as directed and call for emergency help.

Seek Emergency Medical Care if the Child:

Has any symptoms of a severe allergic reaction
Was exposed to a food or substance that has triggered a severe reaction in the past.
Was given injectable epinephrine.

Think Prevention!

Avoid substances that are known to trigger an allergic reaction in the child. Keep an oral antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (benadryl) available at all times. If the child has a severe allergy, be sure that doctor-prescribed injectable epinephrine is kept with or near the child at all times, and that you, other caretakers and the child (if old enough) know how to use it.

Courtesy of Kids

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