Current allergies facing children today

Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to something in the environment that is otherwise harmless to others. This is known as the allergen or trigger.  The trigger can make contact with the skin, eyes, nose, lungs or stomach. Allergies can vary from mild to severe.  The most severe being anaphylaxis, which can be life threatening. 

allergy man

Causes in children 

The most common causes of allergies in children are: 

  • Eggs
  • Peanuts and tree nuts
  • Soy and Cow’s milk
  • Shellfish and fish
  • Insect bites such as bees and wasps
  • Medications such as antibiotics and anaesthetics
  • Latex

Signs and symptoms

Mild to moderate allergy 

  • Swelling around the face
  • Tingling feeling around the mouth 
  • Red lumpy rash 
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Red watery and itchy eyes

Severe allergy (anaphylaxis) 

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Swelling or tightness in the throat
  • Trouble talking
  • Hoarse voice
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Becomes pale and floppy


For mild to moderate allergies, treatment options vary from over the counter and prescription medications. If you are concerned, or your child is unwell, you should seek medical advice.

Any child who has had an anaphylactic reaction should be prescribed an EpiPen by their  doctor, which is a single dose of Adrenaline. If the child has an anaphylactic reaction they are treated with their EpiPen.  Each child who has an EpiPen should also have an action plan completed by their doctor, which should be given to your child’s school and carer.  If your child has an anaphylactic reaction, you should seek urgent medical attention.

Community Prevention

If the cause of allergic reaction is known, to aid prevention it is important to only give food approved by the parent or carer and discourage food sharing and swapping.

Key points to remember

  • Allergic reaction can be caused by a variety of triggers.
  • First line treatment for anaphylaxis is adrenaline.
  • Known allergens or triggers should be avoided.
  • Seek medical attention if your child becomes unwell.


For further information, please visit Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia. 

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