An allergic reaction can take many forms, from a minor skin rash to sneezing to life-threatening anaphylactic shock. If your child has an allergic reaction, the team of physicians and nurses at UrgiKids in Naperville, Illinois, can provide fast, expert treatment for allergic reactions in a calming environment for your child. Call or schedule an appointment online.
Allergic reactions occur when the immune system thinks a substance is harmful and attempts to thwart it. Mild allergic reactions include minor rashes, runny nose, sneezing, and watery or itchy eyes. Hives can be minor and resolve quickly, or they can be severe.
A severe reaction called anaphylactic shock is life-threatening and requires immediate emergency care. A number of things can cause allergic reactions in a child, including environmental triggers, foods, medicine, and insect bites and stings.
A severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Symptoms usually occur quickly, within 3 to 30 minutes after exposure, and can appear in the lungs, on the skin, or in the heart and blood vessels. The child may have trouble breathing, and develop swelling in the throat, lips, tongue, or face. He may experience chest pain, feel nauseated, faint, vomit, and have a weak pulse. Hives -- raised welts and red, blotchy skin -- may appear.
Your pediatrician or an allergy specialist provides you with an emergency kit that includes an epinephrine injector. When your child is old enough, he can use the injector himself. Until then, you and your child’s teacher or other care provider should understand how to use the injector in case it’s ever needed. As soon as you or a responsible adult sees a reaction starting, you should administer the epinephrine and call 911.