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Health Information For Parents
Anaphylaxis is a sudden, life-threatening reaction that is usually caused by an allergy. The most common allergens (things that cause a reaction) are foods, medications, and insect stings.
Anaphylaxis does not occur the first time someone comes in contact with an allergen. During the first exposure, the person’s immune system, which fights infections and disease, responds to the allergen as if it were a threat. When exposed to the allergen again, the person’s body tries to “defend” itself by releasing chemicals into the blood that cause inflammation throughout the body and the severe allergic symptoms known as anaphylaxis.
Common anaphylaxis symptoms are itchy or red skin, swelling, trouble breathing, hoarseness, a runny or stuffed nose, throwing up, a fast heartbeat, or passing out. If someone has anaphylaxis more than once, signs may change each time.
Treatment for anaphylaxis includes an injection of epinephrine (adrenaline) right away. Other medications like prednisone (a steroid) and antihistamines treat the reaction and usually will be continued for a few days. With prompt treatment, an episode usually ends within an hour, but some can last longer. Sometimes symptoms return without another exposure to the allergen, usually within 10 hours but sometimes up to 3 days later.
Anaphylaxis can be life threatening, so anyone at risk for it (and all caretakers) should know what to do in an emergency.
During an allergic reaction, your body’s immune system goes into overdrive. Find out more in this article for kids.
Most bug bites and stings are just annoying. But some can cause infections and allergic reactions. It’s important to know what to watch for, and when to get medical attention.
Find more than 30 articles in English and Spanish about all aspects of food allergies in children.
Millions of Americans, including many kids, have an allergy. Find out how allergies are diagnosed and how to keep them under control.
Although most allergic reactions aren’t serious, severe reactions can be life-threatening and can require immediate medical attention.
Food allergies and food intolerances, like lactose intolerance, are not the same. Find out more.
Insect sting allergies can cause serious reactions. Find out how to keep kids safe.
Being prepared for an allergy emergency will help you, your child, and other caregivers respond in the event of a serious reaction.
Quick action is essential during a serious allergic reaction. It helps to remind yourself of action steps so they become second nature if there’s an emergency. Here’s what to do.
A person with severe allergies can be at risk for a sudden, serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This reaction can seem scary, but the good news is it can be treated.
Generally, insect bites and stings are harmless. Find out how to keep pests from ruining your fun.
Struggling with strawberries? Petrified of peanuts? Sorry you ate shellfish? Maybe you have a food allergy. Find out more in this article for kids.
With food allergies, preventing a reaction means avoiding that food entirely. But sometimes allergens can be hidden in places you don’t expect. Here are tips on living with a food allergy.
With preparation and education, a child with a food allergy can stay safe at school.
Food allergies can cause serious and even deadly reactions in kids, so it’s important to know how to feed a child with food allergies and to prevent reactions.
Kids with severe allergies can be at risk for a sudden, serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. The good news is that when treated properly, anaphylaxis can be managed.
If your child is allergic to nuts or peanuts, it’s essential to learn what foods might contain them and how to avoid them.
A growing number of kids are allergic to nuts and peanuts. Find out more about this problem and how allergic kids can stay healthy.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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