Anaphylaxis In Children – 5 Causes & 16 Symptoms You Should Be Aware Of


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Is your child prone to severe allergies? Does he suffer from breathing difficulties or an allergic reaction? If you’ve nodded along, then your child may be at the risk of a life-threatening allergic reaction or anaphylaxis.

Children are allergic to certain foods, insects, medicines, and latex. When they come in contact with these things, they develop symptoms like shortness of breath and hives. The condition is known as the allergic reaction, and things that cause an allergic reaction are called allergens. Allergic reactions are usually mild and moderate, but serious allergies can be potentially fatal. Do you want to know more about it? Read our post here!

What Is Anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is an acute and severe form of allergic reaction. It happens when the allergens interaction with the immunoglobulin E found in the tissue of basophils and mast cells. The condition often occurs in response to an allergen. Children experiencing anaphylaxis reflect respiratory, cardiovasc

ular, cutaneous and gastrointestinal infections. These infections may occur within minutes, or even seconds of allergen exposure.

Causes Of Anaphylaxis In Children:

1. Food:

Food is a primary trigger for immunoglobulin E-mediated anaphylaxis in children. Milk, wheat, egg, and soy are the most common food allergens. Fish and peanuts are also potent allergens. Children can develop anaphylaxis from the residual peanut in a candy or from the fumes of cooking fish.

2. Insect Sting:

Insect sting from yellow jackets, wasps, bees, and fire ants.

[ Read: Insect Bite Allergies in Kids ]

3. Medication:

Medications, especially antibiotics, sulfa drugs, insulin, and anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen and Aspirin.

4. Latex:

Latex found in rubber bands, hospital gloves, and balloons.

5. Environment

Pollen, molds, and dust mite.

Symptoms Of Anaphylaxis In Children:

The symptoms of child anaphylaxis may occur after coming into contact with the allergens and may worsen quickly. The symptoms usually involve more than one part of the body like skin, mouth, lungs, gut, brain, heart. Some of the anaphylaxis symptoms in children include:

  1. Drowsiness
  2. Fussiness
  3. Irritability
  4. Lethargy
  5. Skin rashes
  6. Hives
  7. Itching
  8. Reduced level of consciousness
  9. Vomiting
  10. Nausea
  11. Diarrhea
  12. Abdominal pain
  13. Swollen lips and tongue
  14. Upper airway obstruction
  15. Shortness of breath
  16. Wheezing

[ Read: Treatments For Diarrhea In Children ]

Treating Anaphylaxis In Children:

Anaphylaxis requires immediate treatment as it doesn’t take long to worsen. That is why doctors prescribe epinephrine medication to children with life-threatening allergies. Epinephrine enters the bloodstream, working swiftly against the allergy symptoms. Doctors also prescribe the medication in the form of an injection. Inhaling beta-2 agonists and H1 and H2 receptor antagonist also play a significant role in resolving the cutaneous and respiratory signs and symptoms. But in case of a severe allergic reaction, you must seek immediate medical attention.

Post anaphylaxis, a second reaction may follow, known as the biphasic reaction. The second reaction can occur within 4 to 8 hours of the first reaction. Your doctor will observe your child for minimum 4 to 6 before discharging from the hospital. On discharge, he will prescribe him epinephrine auto-injectors and may even refer him to an immunologist or allergist for further education and evaluation. Your doctor may also instruct you to give over-the-counter antihistamines. Remember, antihistamines are not replacements for epinephrine.

[ Read: Home Remedies To Treat Allergies In Children ]

How To Avoid Anaphylaxis In Kids:

1. Keep Your Child Away From The Allergens:

The best way for you to avoid anaphylaxis is to keep your child away from allergens. Begin with teaching your child about his allergy, in an age appropriate way of course. Tell him to inform you of the reaction as soon as possible.

2. Food:

Read the food labels carefully before purchasing a product. Omit food items that have ingredients that cause an allergic reaction to your child. Do not allow your child to share and swap foods with other children.

[ Read: Common Food Allergies In Children ]

3. Insect Allergies:

Make sure your child wears closed-toe shoes and insect repellant when outdoors, especially while camping. Do not make them wear loose fitting clothes as it can trap insects between the clothing and the skin.

Serious allergies are alarming, but now they are a lot easier to recognize and treat, all thanks to the greater awareness and the availability of epinephrine.

Does your child suffer from anaphylaxis? How did you manage the allergic reaction? Share your tips with other mommies below. It might be helpful.

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