Anaphylaxis can cause different symptoms at different times. It's considered anaphylaxis
if someone has:
any severe symptoms, such as trouble breathing, repeated vomiting, passing out,
or throat tightness or
two or more mild symptoms, such as hives and vomiting or coughing and belly pain
The person needs treatment right away.
How Is Anaphylaxis Treated?
Someone with anaphylaxis needs help right away. The reaction can get worse very
quickly. So doctors usually want people with allergies to carry injectable medicine
called epinephrine. Epinephrine enters the bloodstream and works
quickly against serious allergy symptoms.
Doctors prescribe epinephrine auto injectors. These should always be with the child
with allergies, including at school, sports, jobs, and other activities. The auto
injector is small and easy to use.
If the doctor prescribes epinephrine for your child, the doctor will show you how
to use it. Two auto injectors should always be with your child in case one injector
does not work or your child needs a second dose.
Your doctor also might instruct you to give your child antihistamines in certain
cases. But always treat a serious reaction with epinephrine. Never
use antihistamines instead of epinephrine in serious reactions.
What Should I Do If My Child Has a Serious Reaction?
Seconds count during anaphylaxis. If your child shows signs of a serious allergic
Give the epinephrine auto-injector right away. If you are alone
with your child, give this medicine first, then call 911. If someone is with you,
have the person call 911 while you give the epinephrine.
Lay your child down with legs raised while you wait for the ambulance.
Go to the emergency
room, even if symptoms improve after epinephrine. Your child must be under medical
supervision for several hours. This is because a second wave of serious symptoms (called
a biphasic reaction) often happens. Your child can get more treatment at the emergency
room, if needed.
What Else Should I Know?
Serious allergies can be alarming. But you can help keep your child safe. Be sure
Help your child avoid allergens.
Always having two epinephrine auto injectors with your child.
Tell any caregivers, teachers, or coaches about your child's allergy and be sure
they know what to do in an emergency.
Check that your child's auto injectors have not expired and don't get too hot
or too cold.
Have your child wear a medical ID bracelet so others know to use the epinephrine
in case of an emergency.