These reactions of the immune system can be mild or severe. Anaphylaxis is the most severe reaction to an allergen, and can occur in people of all age groups, including infants. It refers to a reaction of the immediate type, such an allergy occurs upon repeated contact with an allergen, affects the child’s breathing, blood circulation and pressure. Without emergency care, such an allergy can be fatal, especially when anaphylactic shock develops.
What is anaphylaxis, what are the features of this type of allergy?
Anaphylaxis is an immediate type of allergy that can be fatal without immediate medical attention. The reaction of the immune system to an allergen can cause many different symptoms, including breathing problems. Allergens are common environmental substances that can cause immune system hyperresponsiveness and acute inflammatory reactions in susceptible children.
When do I need an appointment with an allergist?
Pediatric doctors say that it is impossible to predict the development of anaphylactic reactions in a child, and there are always risks if there is an allergy of any form. Therefore, an appointment for an allergist and a full examination, the identification of potential allergens with their subsequent exclusion is one of the main goals.
You must have an appointment with an allergist if the child suffers from food allergies, or if he has at least once in his life developed anaphylactic shock or any other form of anaphylaxis. It is important to identify the dangerous substance as accurately as possible and teach the child and parents first aid methods that can save lives.
Although parents can not always control the allergic reactions of the child, they should certainly be prepared to cope with an emergency situation. Writing to an allergist, examination, selection of permanent, basic therapy and collecting first-aid kits, learning the rules of its use in emergency situations – this is important in the treatment of anaphylactic reactions. Parents should always have with them medicines, emergency phone and a doctor, and skills formed to automatism.
Risks and causes of anaphylaxis in a child
As a rule, the risk of anaphylaxis in children is low. A child who suffers from asthma or pollinosis is more prone to anaphylaxis. But such an acute reaction can also occur due to unknown triggers.
For a child receiving complementary foods and adult nutrition, products such as eggs, wheat, peanuts, fish, milk, nuts, soybeans and shellfish can be the cause of anaphylaxis. Another trigger for anaphylaxis for a child can be insect venom. Especially dangerous is the poison of stinging insects – wasps, bees, fire ants, hornets or ticks. Some herbal preparations and drugs (penicillin) can also cause anaphylaxis in young children.
Manifestations of anaphylactic shock and other reactions
The most dangerous and most severe reactions is anaphylactic shock. Symptoms in children may include difficulty breathing with heavy sweating, coughing, nasal congestion and wheezing when breathing. There may be difficulty swallowing, the development of diarrhea and urticaria (severe itching and massive skin rash), as well as slurred speech, swelling of the tongue, pallor and uneven pulse, pressure decrease, loss of consciousness. Without treatment, the progression of anaphylactic shock can cause multiple organ failure and the death of a child in a short time.
If anaphylactic shock is suspected in a child, do not panic and take rash actions. With the development of this complication for the first time, you need to immediately call an ambulance and try to calm the child down, put him in, so that when he loses consciousness, he will not receive additional injuries.
If the child had previously suffered from anaphylactic shock, the doctor could prescribe an injection of epinephrine (epinephrine) when signs of a reaction develop. It is necessary to use the drug as prescribed. If the attack is the first, you can not give any drugs.
If it is suspected that the reason for the reaction was food, you can not provoke vomiting, it will only make it worse. If it is an insect bite, as much as possible it is necessary to remove the poison from the wound, and drag the vessels above the bite site, apply ice to slow down the resorption of the poison. If the child is cold, you need to cover him with a blanket and gently massage his feet. If the child stops breathing, cardiopulmonary resuscitation should be performed before an ambulance arrives.
Medical assistance for shock
Paramedics or a doctor can perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation if necessary. They also give the child an injection of adrenaline to immediately relieve the symptoms of anaphylaxis. In severe cases of anaphylaxis, the medical team may use oxygen masks to help the patient breathe.
The child will have to spend a day or two in the hospital under observation in case symptoms return. In the hospital, medications, such as cortisone or antihistamines, in the form of intravenous injections or tablets are used for treatment.
Prevention of anaphylaxis: food and lifestyle
If a child develops signs of anaphylactic shock at least once, parents should be very vigilant so that later the allergy does not occur anymore. This means it is important to review the food, ensure that allergens do not get in with food, drink or medicine, stay away from insects that can bite.
All potential allergens must be eliminated from the diet until a full examination is carried out and a specific allergen is identified. That he should be categorically excluded from food everywhere – at home, away, at school. It is necessary to teach the child to independently control food, refusing dangerous products. It is important that all relatives know about the causes of the child’s allergy and prevent contact with the hazardous substance.
It is important to make sure (especially in a private house and in the country) that there are no insect nests near the child’s room. When the child is left alone in the room, you need to make sure that the windows are closed with nets so that wasps and bees cannot get inside.