First time allergic reactions and how to deal with them

Kinderling News & Features

What does an allergic reaction look like and how can you treat it? 

Sarah Hunstead from CPR Kids is a paediatric nurse and she talks to Shevonne Hunt on Kinderling Conversation about the first time your child might have an allergic reaction. 

“Allergic reactions can look different, depending on the child.” 

 So when do they most often occur? Sarah says that, “It’s when we start to introduce new things and get out and about into the world. It’s unusual for a two month old to have an insect allergy because we don’t tend to let them sit in flower beds!” 

Listen to Sarah’s interview on Kinderling Conversation:

There are a few signs and symptoms that your child could experience during an allergic reaction. 

“It may just be one particular thing that your child does, or they may have the whole lot,” notes Sarah. It’s about just recognising that something is not right and seeking help.” 

Here’s some of what you need to look out for during an allergic reaction:

  • An outbreak of hives
  • Lips may swell
  • Face may swell around the eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Could experience diarrhoea
  • Complaints of itchiness
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes

From here, it could worsen. 

“It may progress into anaphylaxis and this is severe or life threatening allergic reaction,” says Sarah. “And the important thing to remember is that this needs urgent medical help. 000, calling an ambulance immediately.” 

In these escalated situations, these are some of the symptoms:

  • Breathing problems
  • Tongue can swell
  • Their airway can swell
  • They may become wheezy
  • Their blood pressure can drop and so they become quite pale or floppy
  • They may become unconscious.

 “All of these things are big red flags and that child needs an ambulance immediately,” Sarah advises.

“Allergy, if it’s mild, is not going to be life-threatening. But the first time, how do you know that it’s not going to progress into anaphylaxis?” For first time reactions, Sarah recommend seeking urgent medical help, since you have no idea what the allergic reaction could turn into.