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.
Causes in children
The most common causes of allergies in children are:
- 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
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)
- 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.
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.
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