If you missed the webinar, we added the video below. We also included some resources on additional information discussed in the webinar, as well as answers to several questions we received.
Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) hosted a webinar on May 13, 2021, on the latest research on food allergy anaphylaxis in infants and toddlers.
The webinar was presented by:
- Michael Pistiner, MD, MMSc, pediatric allergist at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston, Massachusetts
- Melanie Carver, Chief Mission Officer, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
- Sanaz Eftekhari, Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Research, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
The webinar included information from a ground-breaking study on severe allergic reactions in infants and toddlers with food allergies by KFA, Dr. Pistiner, and other food allergy experts. The webinar focused on:
- Food allergy prevention
- What to do if your young child develops allergies
- Recognizing and treating anaphylaxis in infants and toddlers
Questions and Answers
We received several questions about anaphylaxis during the webinar. But we didn't have time to answer them all. Here are some answers to the most common questions we received.
Question: Do you support the use of Benadryl (an antihistamine) to treat a anaphylaxis prior to using epinephrine?
Answer: Epinephrine is the first line of treatment for anaphylaxis and the only treatment that will stop and reverse anaphylaxis. Antihistamines like Benadryl could possibly delay treatment with epinephrine.
Question: The instructions on some epinephrine auto-injectors say to “swing” it, but will that hurt my child?
Answer: Watch the instruction video for the epinephrine auto-injector brand that was prescribed for your child. KFA has links to the training videos for all of the epinephrine devices prescribed in the United States. These videos will show you the best way to inject epinephrine for your child’s device.
Dr. Pistiner also demonstrates how to use an epinephrine auto-injector in this video:
Question: I am concerned about using epinephrine when there isn’t actually a reaction. What effect will epinephrine have on a child if there really is no allergic reaction?
Answer: Our bodies all naturally have epinephrine/adrenalin. Epinephrine is very safe, works fast, and treats all of the symptoms of anaphylaxis. If you have concerns, talk with your child's doctor.
Question: I thought the main symptom of anaphylaxis was respiratory distress (trouble breathing). So, giving epinephrine for some of the other body system symptoms (ours are skin and vomiting) is new to me. I have now heard that using epinephrine will help decrease these symptoms as well. Is that true?
Answer: It is a misconception that anaphylaxis must include trouble breathing. It can involve more than one part of the body, such as the skin, mouth, eyes, lungs, heart, gut, and brain. Epinephrine is the only treatment that will reverse anaphylaxis.
Question: Are food allergy rates going down with the latest early introduction feeding guidelines?
Answer: Experts are currently studying these trends. A recent study from Australia found that peanut allergy rates had gone down with early introduction.
- New AAFA Research Aims to Improve Diagnosis and Treatment of Severe Allergic Reactions in Infants and Toddlers
- New Diagnosis of Food Allergy
- What Is Anaphylaxis?
- Epinephrine Is the First-Line of Treatment for Severe Allergic Reactions (Anaphylaxis)
- Peanut Allergy Prevention: New Guidelines for Early Introduction
- Food Allergy Anaphylaxis in Infants and Toddlers slides
KFA is the food allergy division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).