Recognizing an Allergy Attack

Oct 01, 2015

No matter how careful you are in implementing an allergy avoidance plan in your childcare center, at some point you will come face-to-face with a student having an attack. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can range from mild to severe and can present themselves within minutes or up to two hours after ingesting an allergen.

If a child has even MILD symptoms from more than one system of the body, the following indicate that he is progressing towards a whole-body reaction.

Mild symptoms include:

  • An itchy, runny nose and/or sneezing
  • Itchy mouth
  • A few hives and/or a mild itch to the skin
  • Mild nausea and stomach discomfort

Severe allergic reactions should be treated immediately with epinephrine, even if they only involve one system of the body. Some symptoms of a severe attack include:

  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, and/or a repetitive cough
  • A child who is pale or blue, feels faint, has a weak pulse, or is dizzy
  • A tight or hoarse throat, or a child who is having trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Significant swelling of the tongue or lips
  • Many hives all over a child’s body, and/or widespread redness on the body
  • Repetitive vomiting and/or severe diarrhea
  • A general feeling that something bad is going to happen, anxiety and/or confusion

Remember, children often do not describe things the same way as an adult would. Always be on your guard for a child who looks or acts unwell.

Understanding food allergies can save a life.

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