Most of the time you have no idea if your child has a food allergy or any type of allergy until it happens the first time. A child can have an allergic reaction to anything from a medicine to an insect bite. It is an excessive response that can range anywhere from mild to severe. If your child has an allergy, their immune system mistakes an otherwise harmless substance as an invader. The most common allergic reactions are to foods, insect stings, and medications.
For mild allergic reactions, you will notice symptoms within a few minutes to an hour after being exposed to the source. Some common allergic reactions are hives, itching, stomach cramps, or in severe cases their airways can close up, affecting their ability to breathe. The symptoms may be present in the child’s skin, mouth, throat, gut, lungs, or heart. The key to allergic reactions is knowing the source or trigger and having a proactive plan in place once you know what your child is allergic to.
For mild allergic reactions, it is ok to administer the recommended dose of antihistamines if ordered by a healthcare provider and watch closely for any changes in reaction your child may experience.
For severe allergic reactions, inject epinephrine immediately and call 911. Lay the child flat, raise their legs, and keep them warm until help arrives. If symptoms do not improve, consider giving another dose of epinephrine (if on hand) within 5 minutes or more after the previous dose.