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Food Allergy Reminder: Be Prepared for Anaphylaxis

 

The end of the year is a good time for a reminder about how to recognize and treat a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis (anna-fih-LACK-sis).

The symptoms of anaphylaxis may occur shortly after having contact with an allergen and can get worse quickly. You can’t predict how your child will react to a certain allergen from one time to the next. Both the types of symptoms and how serious they are can change. Anaphylaxis must be treated right away because it can cause death.

allergic-reaction-symptoms


Symptoms of anaphylaxis usually involve more than one part of the body such as the skin, mouth, eyes, lungs, heart, gut, and brain. Some symptoms include:

  • Skin rashes and itching and hives
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue or throat
  • Shortness of breath, trouble breathing, wheezing (whistling sound during breathing)
  • Dizziness and/or fainting
  • Stomach pain, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Feeling like something awful is about to happen
  • Your child’s doctor will give you a complete list of symptoms.

Know How to Treat Anaphylaxis

  1. Follow the steps in your child's emergency care plan to give your child epinephrine right away. This can save your child's life. You cannot rely on antihistamines to treat anaphylaxis.
  2. After giving epinephrine, always call 911 or a local ambulance service. Tell them that your child is having a serious allergic reaction and may need more epinephrine.
  3. Your child needs to be taken to a hospital by ambulance. Medical staff will watch your child closely for further reactions and treat him or her if needed.


Epinephrine is the medicine used to treat anaphylaxis. Epinephrine is safe and comes in an easy-to-use device called an auto-injector. When you press it against your child’s outer thigh, it injects a single dose of medicine. Your child’s health care team will show you how to use it. You, in turn, can teach people who spend time with your child how to use it. Take advantage of holiday breaks to review the symptoms of anaphylaxis and how to use your epinephrine auto-injectors.

Remember to carry your epinephrine auto-injectors with you, everywhere you go!



Helpful Resources:

What is anaphylaxis?

Everything you need to know about epinephrine

What to do if you can't afford epinephrine



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Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) is a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). AAFA is the largest and oldest nonprofit patient organization dedicated to asthma and allergies. KFA educates families and communities with practical food allergy management strategies to save lives and improve the quality of life for children and their families. Our online community includes public blogs. To post a comment, you will need to register or sign in. Registered members have access to additional specialized support forums for food allergies. Registration is free!

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Comments (6)

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This is a great reference - especially with the stick figure graphic that highlights all the symptoms and the green yellow and red action summary.  Would you consider making this a downloadable reference sheet?

Last edited by Momofthree

@Elisa2 The stick figure graphic can be shared from the blog post and it is also in our Shareable Awareness Images photo album. I've added the shareable image of the steps to treat anaphylaxis as well. You can use the social sharing buttons to share them, download them to your computer or mobile device or print them out.

It IS, isn't it?

Cynthia

DD - 18 corn and apple, peanut, oat and soy 

Me - Avoiding celery in processed foods after RXN to celery

Learn the basics of food allergy management with KFA's online course - Enroll Today!

I will definitely pass that a bout the stick figure being so helpful on to our community leadership! Here is a link to a downloadable anaphylaxis sheet with that same info that you can hand out to teachers and caregivers.

Cynthia

DD - 18 corn and apple, peanut, oat and soy 

Me - Avoiding celery in processed foods after RXN to celery

Learn the basics of food allergy management with KFA's online course - Enroll Today!

This is a great reference - especially with the stick figure graphic that highlights all the symptoms and the green yellow and red action summary.  Would you consider making this a downloadable reference sheet?

Daughter: 11 yrs. Allergic to Peanuts and Tree nuts

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Kids With Food Allergies
A Division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
1235 South Clark Street Suite 305, Arlington, VA 22202
Phone: 1-800-7-ASTHMA (1.800.727.8462)
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