What to do if your child has an allergic reaction?
Allergic reactions in children can be triggered by a variety of things, including food, medications, animals, insect stings, pollen, and more. While most reactions are not serious in nature, there are some incidents that will require immediate medical attention. Depending on the outward severity of the reaction, there are a number of steps that you should take to ensure that your child recovers without lasting harm. Here are four things to do if your child has an allergic reaction.
Assess the situation
It is important not to panic if you notice that your child is having an allergic reaction. The first thing that you need to do is to calmly assess the situation so that you can decide what actions to take. If your child is not in obvious distress, you may be able to treat the symptoms at home. Even if the symptoms of the reaction begin to dissipate, it is crucial that you continue to monitor your child. You never know when what may appear to be a benign reaction will accelerate into a situation that demands immediate medical attention. Continuing to assess the situation for 24 hours will give you the ultimate peace of mind that your child is on the road to recovery.
Treat mild symptoms with an antihistamine
If the symptoms are mild, your first action step should be to give your child an antihistamine medication. Mild symptoms mean that your child is not in distress and is not having any issues breathing. An over the counter antihistamine is formulated to treat mild reactions such as hives, itchiness, runny nose, and sneezing. If the allergic reaction appears to be one of a dermatological nature, you can treat it with a cream such as hydrocortisone or calamine lotion. Your child may also find relief when soaking in a colloidal oatmeal bath. In addition, a cool compress may deliver relief from a fiery rash or other redness.
When to seek medical care
Knowing when to seek medical care is crucial when dealing with an allergic reaction. There are a variety of signs to look for when deciding if you need to seek attention by a professional at a clinic such as urgent care. Signs that signal immediate medical attention include:
- Swelling in any part of the body, particularly the mouth or the tongue.
- Child having obvious trouble swallowing or speaking because of increased swelling.
- Wheezing noises coming from the child or other difficulties with breathing.
- Any type of stomach pain such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Spells of dizziness, especially if it leads to fainting.
If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms, you need to take immediate action and take them to be examined by a medical professional. Do not try to treat any of these symptoms at home. Search for a local urgent care, for example, if you’re living in Illinois you might search for urgent care in Oak Brook. Make sure you find someone close as allergic reactions can be very time-sensitive.
Follow-up with healthcare provider
Just because you have weathered the health crisis, it does not mean that you can put it on the backburner. It is important to schedule a follow-up with your healthcare provider so that you can pinpoint exactly what caused the reaction and how to prevent it in the future. A medical professional should also examine your child to verify that are no lasting effects of the reaction. This is particularly important if the allergic reaction was the result of a food allergy or a bee sting. It may be that your child has developed a specific allergy that needs to be carefully monitored to prevent future and more serious reactions.
If you do not already have one, your physician may recommend that you carry an epinephrine pen with you at all times in the event that your child suffers an anaphylactic reaction. It is vital that you ensure that the injectable epinephrine is available and ready to go at all times. Any caretaker for your child needs to know how to safely administer this injectable device.
Any parent who has witnessed their child has a severe allergic reaction will admit that it is a scary experience. Knowing what to do in this type of situation will ensure that you are able to give your child the care that they need.