Anaphylaxis and how to treat it.

The more and more I chat to parents, the more it has become apparent there are a lot of you out there that know that your children have allergies but have no idea how they will react if they ingest the particular allergen that they are allergic to. I know how my baby will react to her allergies but the thought of not knowing sends shivers down my spine.

Having a child with Allergies obviously makes you sympathise with other parents who have children with allergies so I thought about how I would feel if my child when into shock and no-one around me knew how to treat her. Needless to say I did my homework 😉

I wasn’t aware of this because my child’s allergy was diagnosed very early on but a common myth is that allergies are always diagnosed when a child is young. In reality, before an anaphylactic reaction occurs, you must be sensitized to that allergen first. For example, you might be stung by a bee when you are three years old and have a minor response. The second bee sting, however (which could occur years after the first one) might produce a severe allergic reaction in susceptible individuals. In other cases, individuals may have been exposed to a substance many times before reacting.

So to recap, Allergies occur when the body’s immune system responds in an abnormal way to usually harmless substances called allergens. Those substances can range from a food (such as peanuts or fish) to environmental factors (such as pollen, or even the sun). Doctors classify allergy symptoms according to the symptom’s degree of severity:

  • Mild allergic reactions include congestion, itchy eyes and other symptoms that only impact one part of the body.
  • Moderate allergic reactions include symptoms that impact more than one part of the body, such as general itching.
  • Severe allergic reactions (such as anaphylaxis) are the category used for situations in which the body reacts suddenly and entirely. In cases of anaphylaxis, the individual’s response impacts the entire body.

In a nutshell…..what I learned was Anaphylaxis is definitely not something you want your child to have to experience. It would scare the living daylights out of an adult, never mind a young child! So here are a ways to establish if someone is going into shock :

It may begin with any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing; wheezing
  • Changes in consciousness (including confusion or light-headedness)
  • Rapid swelling throughout the body
  • Hives
  • Blue skin
  • Severe abdominal pain, nausea, or diarrhea

Once you have established that the person IS going into Anaphylaxis, you need to act quickly as it happens within minutes.  Here are some helpful tips : 

  1. Administer adrenalin (epinephrine) as soon as possible. If you know that the person has an Auto Injector or some form of rescue medication – administer it immediately. This will give you some time to get them to the hospital.
  2. Get help – Call the child’s parents or nearest hospital immediately to let them know you’re coming. Even with proper administration of medication, many patients with anaphylaxis need additional specialized support. 
  3. Be prepared to administer CPR – Cardiac arrest is a possibility with anaphylactic shock. If the child has lost consciousness, check their pulse and breathing periodically and administer CPR as appropriate until you have reached the emergency room or an ambulance has arrived.

Tip:

  •  THE EPI PEN IS A SINGLE DOSE OF MEDICINE CALL EPIPHRINE WHICH IS ADRENALIN. IT HAS TO BE ADMINISTERED INTO THE OUTER THIGH.     

              (DO NOT INJECT intravenously or in the Buttocks as it may not be effective).

  •  If the child begins to vomit, make sure to turn their head sideways in order to prevent choking.

I also found a really nice video clip which demonstrates how to use the Auto Injector in case you need a refresher.  

http://www.epipen.com/how-to-use-epipen

There is also a diagram that I downloaded from the epipen website which shows you how to administer the Auto injector.

 

I hope that this has been useful as I know I learnt a heap from all the research !!!

Don’t forget to follow us on our Facebook fanpage ( Allergykids.co.za) as we would love to hear from you !!!

Be safe and chat soon!!!

Bon

About Bonnie

I run my own Event Management business and am busy organising a Celebrity Golf day in aid of Red Cross Children's Hospital !!!!

Speak Your Mind