Preventing and dealing with severe allergic reactions

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Allergies to plants, insects and foods are common and children get them just like adults. Most allergic reactions are minor, but in rare cases, some can be can be life-threatening. A severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis, can come on suddenly and be frightening.

There are signs and symptoms you can watch for when dealing with severe allergic reactions, according to Dr. Heather Edgley, an ER physician at Children's Hospital:

  • Itching, hives redness and swelling
  • Sneezing, and a runny nose
  • Swelling of lips or tongue
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Passing out or dizziness
  • Vomiting

Children with allergies to insect bites or stings, food and certain vaccines are most susceptible to severe reactions. For known allergies, Edgley said, doctors recommend carrying an Epi-Pen for emergency use. For a sudden reaction, minor allergic reactions should be seen by your child's pediatrician.

You should take your child to the ER if they experience trouble breathing, swelling of the lips or tongue or a loss of consciousness according to Edgley. While it's rare, anaphylaxis requires immediate treatment. 

To prevent anaphylaxis, you should avoid trigger foods. For infants, don't introduce certain foods until your child's pediatrician say it's safe. Edgley says to follow a physician's advice on how to introduce the foods -- just because neither parent is allergic doesn't mean your child won't be.

For more information visit the links below:

Serious Allergic Reactions


Create an Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan


Trending Stories

Latest Local News

Video Center