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Reacting to Allergies

Many children suffer from various different allergies. It is always important to know how to deal with a child who is suffering from an allergic reaction...

According to, between 5-8% of children have a food allergy, with a combined population of about 2 million children and adults in the UK, one of the highest rates in Europe. If a child comes into contact with the allergen, it can develop into Anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction that can be life-threatening. So what can we do to prevent and treat Anaphylaxis? Read this guide by the Resus Rangers...

What is Anaphylaxis?

Simply put, Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction. It comes as a result of the body producing too much of a chemical called histamine, which in large quantities can be lethal. In small quantities, it can be very effective in reducing a reaction (much like antihistamine medication).

What are some common allergens?

Food is the most common allergen group which includes nuts, shellfish, certain fruits such as strawberries, dairy, red meats, and more. Children may also be allergic to medication and bee stings to name a few examples.

What are the symptoms?

Anaphylaxis can be easily identified by any of the following symptoms;

  • Flushed skin

  • Rash/hives across the body

  • Swelling of throat and mouth

  • Difficulty swallowing or speaking

  • Heart rate increasing

  • Difficulty breathing - wheezing

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Going limp

  • A sense of impending doom or helplessness

  • Unconsciousness

A child may not show all of the symptoms above, but if you suspect anaphylaxis you must call 999 straight away and state 'ANAPHYLAXIS'.

How is it treated?

Children who are at risk of anaphylaxis should carry with them at least one auto-injector (EpiPen, Jext, or Emerade). Retrieve their auto-injector, take the cap off and inject it into their thigh. Hold it there for ten seconds and then rub the area for ten seconds. If symptoms do not change or get worse after five minutes, use a second auto-injector if there is one to hand.

Allergies is a topic we explore in our Resus Rangers School Resources Programme. If you would like to learn more and complete our child-centred activities at home or in your school, click the button below to find out more information!

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