Signs of an allergic reaction

The best way to avoid misunderstandings about an allergic reaction is to keep allergic reactions in mind when assessing your child’s health.

Allergies can have a number of different symptoms that appear in different places. The symptoms are typically determined by the allergy, and can help you understand whether an allergic reaction is mild, and treatable with antihistamines, or if it’s something more severe that might cause anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical attention and treatment.

Skin symptoms

  • Hives or itchy, raised, red and irritated skin
  • Redness around the eyes, typically caused by allergens in the air
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat can be part of a severe allergic reaction that can make it difficult to breathe

Gastrointestinal symptoms

  • Stomach pain, vomiting, or cramps soon after eating
  • Diarrhea is a commonly overlooked allergy symptom. When it happens soon after eating a food, it is unlikely to be food poisoning

Respiratory and cardiovascular symptoms

  • Nasal congestion
  • If Baby exhibits a shortness of breath, repeated sneezing, coughing, or wheezing, that could be a sign of a severe allergic reaction
  • Chest pain, a weakened pulse, or a drop in blood pressure can also be caused by anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can cause paleness and lightheadedness, and should receive immediate medical attention
  • When the lungs or heart have difficulty, this can lead to a loss of consciousness. This symptom can be particularly scary, because Baby can no longer communicate what they are feeling. You’ll want to call 911 or your local emergency response number. Keep in mind any possible allergens that Baby may have interacted with to make diagnosis easier

  •  “Food Allergy Symptoms”. Food Allergy Research and Education. Food Allergy Research & Education, Inc. 2016. Web.  
  • “Food Allergies in Schools”. CDC. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. June 2015. Web.
  • “Skin Allergy”. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and immunology. 2016. Web.
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