What happens when you look at your child and see hives covering their face? What happens when you look at them, and see those hives, and ask them to say something to you, anything, and what comes out is a croak?
These are heart stopping situations that are always a possibility and we need to be prepared to handle them at all times.
Your allergist should have gone over an emergency action plan with you when you or your child received the food allergy diagnosis. Our first one did not, our current one did. If yours has not given you one, please get one as soon as possible.
In ours there are three different scenarios
- Mild Skin
- Major Skin
- Severe Systemic
Let’s expand these categories a little bit.
Only involving skin: hives, rash, eczema, eyes and lips swelling
Our allergy plan states that at this stage we need to give Benadryl and Singulair.
This is our most commonly dealt with reaction. I’ve seen this manifest in several different ways. For example, everywhere the food item touched their skin turned red and had little bumps or their skin on their face turned red and if they had rubbed their eyes, their eye swells up. Yes, it happens. Before I knew I could fix it at home, we went straight to the emergency room. It’s disconcerting, but given the right medications, you can fix it!
Major skin swelling and/or hives
Our allergy plan states that at this stage we need to give Benadryl, Singulair, and Prednisone/Oripred.
I’ve seen this manifest with hives all over the body: under clothing, all over the head, arms, legs, back, stomach, neck, or shoulders. My daughter complains at this point that her skin hurts.
Our allergy plan states that when this reaction happens, we need to administer the Epi-Pen, call 911, and then give all the oral medications addressed previously.
This one I have seen too, but did not have an emergency plan and did not know how to handle it. My plan goes through a long list of symptoms: immediate onset of itchy, watery, sneezy, congested allergy symptoms, throat tightening, difficulty breathing, significant tongue or throat swelling, etc. At the end of the list in bold they state: ANYTHING MORE THAN SKIN. This includes anaphylactic shock; that is our big bad reaction that we all fear more than I can explain. Thankfully as of yet, I’ve never had to administer an epi-pen, but as I stated previously it was before we had an emergency action plan. I watched this manifest in immediate projectile vomiting, immediate hoarse voice, stomach pain, and difficulty breathing. We did not give an epi pen, but I did take them straight to the emergency room with these symptoms. We are very fortunate that we were able to get to the emergency room before things took a terrible turn.
The first step in managing our children’s food allergies is to know what to do when something goes wrong.
Make a point today to call your allergist’s office and get a plan set up if you don’t have one already!!!
- 5 Tips To Better Manage Food Allergies
- Learn to React to Anaphylaxis (everydayhealth.com)
- Kids and Allergies: When Your Child Needs Epinephrine (everydayhealth.com)