Would you know if your child was having an allergic reaction? The first step is recognizing key symptoms!
Food allergies occur when the body has a specific immune response to a distinct food or food group. This response can be mild or life threatening, such as anaphylaxis. According to the CDC, 90% of serious food allergies are in response to cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat.
The symptoms and severity can vary per individual. The most commonly seen symptoms include:
Hives/welts, flushed skin, or a new rash
vomiting and/or diarrhea
swelling of the lips, face or tongue
coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, gasping
dizziness and/or loss of consciousness
There are also many non-food allergies that can trigger reactions. The most common of these include pollen, dust mites, molds, animal dander, bug bites/stings, latex, and medications.
Knowing the symptoms of anaphylaxis can save your child’s life. If your child is having respiratory distress, they must be treated immediately to provide the best chance for improvement and prevent potentially life-threatening complications.
If your child has a known food allergy make sure they have an epinephrine injector for emergencies, and that those caring for him/her know how to properly administer it. Acting quickly can be life saving in these dangerous situations. The caregiver should administer Epi and call 9-1-1 the second anaphylaxis symptoms are recognized.
Work with your allergist or primary care provider to create a food allergy action plan: