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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Five Ways to Prepare for an Allergic Reaction


My son during an allergic reaction

When having a child who suffers from an allergic reaction, preparedness key. Sometimes parents are unaware that their child suffers from an allergic reaction until the child has the first reaction. When my child was just two years old, he suffered from his first life-threatening allergic reaction while on vacation. I was unprepared for my child's allergic reaction, and that almost cost him his life. With food allergies on the rise and children getting diagnosed every day, I encourage parents to be prepared in case of a reaction. These are five basic tips for helping to be prepared in the event that your child has an allergic reaction.

If your doctor approves your child being able to take Benadryl, keep a small amount of liquid Benadryl in your diaper bag, purse or backpack. Benadryl can quickly calm down facial swelling, hives or airway constriction until getting a child to see a doctor. (Liquid Benadryl absorbs faster than the pills or chewable tablets)

Have your medical information including your child's doctor information, insurance information, child's weight and height wherever your child goes. When my son had his first allergic reaction, the first thing the EMT asked was his height and weight so that they knew how much medication they can immediately give him in the ambulance.

If your child has suffered from a previous reaction, and your doctor has prescribed an epi-pen have it with your child at all times. My son currently wears his epi-pen along with his medical information in a small fanny pack. That way, if I am not with him, then he will always have his life saving medication with him at all times.

Have a small journal and a pen available. What I learned was that it was beneficial to document everything that happened before leaving in the ambulance. Have someone help write down all the foods on the table during the time of the reaction, the times of the reactions and document everything. This is going to be valuable information needed within the upcoming weeks to help your child's doctor.

Stay as calm as possible - which is not easy. Children usually do not understand what is happening, and it can be frightening. If the parent or caregiver stays calm, it will help the child cope better with the situation..

Awareness and preparedness are key with allergic reactions. Take time to research the warning signs of an allergic reaction, and be prepared at all times. Being prepared will help to lessen the stress for everyone.


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