As a parent, one of the most stressful challenges you can face is dealing with and managing a child’s severe or deadly allergy. Knowing what to do if your child, or a child under your care is experiencing a potentially deadly allergic reaction can be the difference between a stressful afternoon, and tragedy. Read on to find out about what you can do to prevent and avoid these severe reactions in young children under your charge, and what you should do in the event of a severe reaction.
Getting Your Child Allergy Tested
They say knowing is half the battle, and we think that’s a pretty accurate statement when it comes to dealing with childhood allergies. It’s a lot harder to be ready and prepared for a children’s allergic reaction if you don’t know whether or not your child is allergic to anything. If your child exhibits any common allergy symptoms such as sudden congestion or runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, hives, rash, wheezing, shortness of breath, or a tight feeling in the chest, they may have allergies. If you notice any of these symptoms, or you just want to make sure you and your child are prepared, it’s generally a good idea to get your child tested for allergies.
Preparing for a Severe Children’s Allergic Reaction
If it turns out your child has a severe or deadly allergy to something, particularly a common food such as nuts or shellfish, or bee/wasp stings, there are a few things you should do to make sure both you and your child are prepared to handle a severe reaction. Doing so could save their life.
Get an Epinephrine Auto-Injector
If your doctor has diagnosed your child with a deadly allergy, they will most likely prescribe them an Epinephrine Auto-Injector, usually sold under the brand name Epipen. Now, you may have heard that the price of brand name Epipens have skyrocketed in recent months, to the outrage of many. Fortunately, there are a number of generic auto-injectors that use the same active ingredients, and are just as effective at stopping a severe reaction as their much more expensive peers. CVS offers a very cheap auto-injector two-pack that is perfect if the price of a brand-name Epipen makes you balk.
Make Sure Both You and Your Child Know How to Use the Auto-Injector
It is very important that you learn how to use your specific auto-injector. There are specific procedures for each one, but the usage is usually fairly simple and straightforward. You’ll still want to practice with it, and let your child practice until you can both go through the procedure quickly and efficiently. In a high-stress situation, fine motor control is greatly impeded, so you’ll want to have the movements down. Many manufacturers also carry an inert training syringe that you can use to practice without worrying about damaging a live injector.
What to Do During a Severe Children’s Allergic Reaction
The first thing to do is confirm your child is having a reaction. You should study common symptoms of anaphylaxis, as well as the other symptoms of an allergic reaction so that you can be constantly vigilant for the signs of an oncoming reaction. If your child is having a severe reaction to a deadly allergen, the first thing you should do is move your child away from the allergen. This is especially important if they’ve stumbled into a hive of bees or a wasp nest. Then, if you are alone with your child, begin administering the epinephrine auto-injector according to the instructions for your specific model before calling 911. If you are with someone, or there are others nearby, instruct one of them directly to call 911. Never simply yell for someone to call emergency services, as the bystander effect often kicks in. While you wait for emergency services, locate your child’s backup auto-injector in case they require a second dose, which is not uncommon. If you do not have an auto-injector, administering a double dose of antihistamines, particularly diphenhydramine, may slow the reaction long enough for medical help to arrive, but do not count on this. No over the counter medicine, herbal remedy, or other treatment is a substitute for epinephrine during a severe reaction.
Allergy Management and Treatment in New York
If you suspect your child has allergies, or just want to get more information about treating and managing their allergies, contact Doctor Mayank Shukla today. Doctor Shukla and his team have years of experience in pediatric respiratory medicine, particularly asthma, allergies, and other chronic breathing problems, and with their help you can be sure you’ll be ready for any allergy emergency.