Home
About Us
Our Services
New Patients
Forms & Policies
Medical Resources
   Emergencies
   Medical Conditions
      Abdominal Pain, Recurrent
      Acne
      Acute Ear Infections and Your Child
      Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
      Acute Otitis Media
      Acute Strep Throat
      Addison
      ADHD and Your School-aged Child
      AIDS/HIV
      Allergies in Children
      Anaphylaxis
      Anemia and Your Young Child
      Anesthesia and Your Child
      Ankle Sprain Treatment (Care of the Young Athlete)
      Antibiotics and Your Child
      Anxiety
      Appendicitis
      Asthma
      Asthma and Exercise (Care of the Young Athlete)
      Asthma and Your Child
      Asthma Triggers
      Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
      Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
      Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
      Breast Enlargement, Premature
      Breath-Holding Spells
      Bronchiolitis
      Bronchiolitis and Your Young Child
      Care of the Premature Infant
      Celiac Disease
      Chickenpox
      Chickenpox Immunization
      Chickenpox Vaccine, The
      Coarctation of the Aorta
      Colds
      Common Childhood Infections
      Congenital Hip Dysplasia
      Constipation
      Constipation and Your Child
      Coxsackie A16
      Croup
      Croup and Your Young Child
      Croup: When Your Child Needs Hospital Care
      Crying and Your Baby: How to Calm a Fussy or Colicky Baby
      Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)
      Depression
      Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip
      Diabetic Mother, Infant of
      Diaper Rash
      Diarrhea and Dehydration
      Diarrhea, Vomiting, and Water Loss (Dehydration)
      Ear Infection
      Ear Infections
      Eating Disorders
      Eczema
      Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
      Enlarged Lymph Nodes
      Erythema Multiforme
      Eye Problems Related to Headache
      Febrile Seizure
      Febrile Seizures
      Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
      Fever
      Fever and Your Child
      Fifth Disease
      Fifth Disease (Erythema Infectiosum)
      Flu
      Flu, The
      Food Allergies and Your Child
      Food Born Illnesses
      Fragile X Syndrome
      Gastroenteritis, Viral
      Gastroesophageal Reflux
      Giardiasis
      Guide to Children's Dental Health, A
      Hand Foot and Mouth
      Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease
      Head Lice
      Headache Related to Eye Problems
      Hemangioma
      Hepatitis A
      Hepatitis A Immunization
      Hepatitis B
      Hepatitis B Immunization
      Hepatitis C
      Hib Immunization
      High Blood Pressure
      Hip Dysplasia (Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip)
      HIV/AIDS
      How to Take Your Child's Temperature?
      Hyperactivity
      Hypertension
      Hypothyroidism
      Immunization
      Infant of a Diabetic Mother
      Infectious Mononucleosis
      Influenza Immunization
      Influenza-Seasonal
      Inhaled and Intranasal Corticosteroids and Your Child
      Kawasaki Syndrome
      Language Development in Young Children
      Lead Poisoning
      Leukemia
      Lung Hypoplasia
      Lyme Disease
      Lymphadenopathy
      Measles
      Mental Health
      Middle Ear Fluid and Your Child
      MMR Immunization
      Molluscum Contagiosum
      Mumps
      Obesity in Childhood
      Osgood-Schlatter Disease
      Otitis Media, Acute
      Pneumococcal Conjugate Immunization
      Pneumonia and Your Child
      Polio Immunization
      Premature Thelarche
      Prematurity
      Prematurity, Retinopathy of
      Pulmonary Hypertension
      Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH & SPH)
      Retinopathy of Prematurity
      Rheumatic Fever, Acute
      Ringworm (Tinea)
      Roseola
      Rotavirus
      Rubella (German Measles)
      Safety of Blood Transfusions
      Scabies
      Seasonal Influenza (Flu) 2014–2015
      Separation Anxiety
      Sinusitis
      Sinusitis and Your Child
      Sleep Apnea and Your Child
      Smoking
      Speech Development in Young Children
      Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
      Strep Throat
      Strep Throat-Acute
      Strep Throat-Recurrent
      Stuttering and the Young Child
      Swine Flu
      Swine Flu (H1N1) FAQ
      Swine Flu (H1N1) Vaccine
      Swollen Glands
      Tattoos
      Tear Duct, Blocked
      Tetralogy of Fallot
      Thyroid Problems
      Tinea (ringworm infection)
      Tonsils and the Adenoid
      Toxic Shock Syndrome
      Toxoplasmosis
      Turner Syndrome
      Type 2 Diabetes: Tips for Healthy Living
      Underdeveloped Lungs
      Urinary Tract Infection
      Urinary Tract Infections in Young Children
      Varicella or Chickenpox
      Varivax Immunization
      Vesicoureteral Reflux
      Wheezing-Infant
      Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
      Wilson Disease
   What's Going Around?
   Pediatrics
Contact Us

Practice News

Anywhere Family Practice is thrilled to announce the addition of Dr. Julie Johnson to our team.
We will be transitioning to a new patient portal in April. Watch for new updates on this website!

Is Your Child Sick?TM

 

Are You Sick?



Anaphylaxis

Print, Share, or View Spanish version of this article

Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction. It comes on quickly and can be fatal. It often affects many body systems. This type of reaction is a medical emergency and immediate medical attention is important. Children with asthma and allergies to certain foods, stinging insects, or medicines are at highest risk, though anaphylaxis may occur in anyone. Your pediatrician may refer you to an allergist. An allergist has specialized training in diagnosing the cause of anaphylaxis and providing additional treatment. Parents should know the symptoms of anaphylaxis and what to do in case it happens to their child.

What are the symptoms of anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis includes a wide range of symptoms that often happen quickly. The most severe symptoms restrict breathing and blood circulation. Combinations of symptoms may occur. The most common symptoms may affect the following:

  • SKIN: itching, hives, redness, swelling

  • NOSE: sneezing, stuffy nose, runny nose

  • MOUTH: itching, swelling of lips or tongue

  • THROAT: itching, tightness, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness

  • CHEST: shortness of breath, cough, wheeze, chest pain, tightness

  • HEART: weak pulse, passing out, shock

  • GUT: vomiting, diarrhea, cramps

  • NEUROLOGIC: dizziness, fainting, feeling that you are about to die

What causes anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis occurs when the immune system overreacts to normally harmless substances called allergens. The following are the most common allergens that can trigger anaphylaxis:

  • Food such as

    • Peanuts

    • Nuts from trees (such as walnuts, pistachios, pecans, cashews)

    • Shellfish (such as shrimp, lobster)

    • Fish (such as tuna, salmon, cod)

    • Milk

    • Eggs

  • In rare cases, anaphylaxis may be related to a certain food followed by exercise.

  • Insect stings such as from

    • Bees

    • Wasps

    • Hornets

    • Yellow jackets

    • Fire ants

  • Medicines. Antibiotics and antiseizure medicines are some of the more common medicines that cause anaphylaxis. However, any medicine, even aspirin and other non­steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, have the potential to cause severe reactions.

What should I do if my child has an anaphylactic reaction?

For anyone experiencing anaphylaxis, epinephrine should be given right away followed by a call to 911 for further treatment and transfer to a hospital. The main medicine to treat anaphylaxis is epinephrine. This is a medicine given by an injection. The best place to inject it is in the muscles of the outer part of the thigh. If the symptoms do not improve very quickly, the injection should be given again in 5 to 30 minutes.

Children who are old enough can be taught how to give themselves epinephrine if needed. The medicine comes in auto-injector syringes (EpiPen or Twinject) to make this easier. Epinephrine should be prescribed for anyone who has ever had an anaphylactic attack and for children at high risk for anaphylaxis. They are available in 2 different doses based on the weight of the child. You should always have at least 2 doses with you at all times. School-aged children also need one at school with instructions from their doctor about how and when to use it.

During a reaction, an oral antihistamine may also be given, but not as a substitute for epinephrine. Also helpful in case of an emergency is medical identification jewelry that includes information about your child's allergy. This should be worn at all times. Your doctor should also give you a written action plan outlining the steps to take in the event of an emergency. It is important to share this action plan with anyone who cares for your child.

How can I prevent another anaphylactic attack?

After an anaphylactic attack, your child needs to be seen by a doctor. Even if the cause seems obvious, it may be more complicated than you think. An evaluation by an allergist is often needed to identify the cause(s). A customized care plan for prevention and treatment can be created once the causes are known.

In most cases, the only way to prevent it from happening again is to avoid the cause. However, your child's care plan can help provide safe alternatives without unnecessary restriction of safe foods, medicines, or activities. An emergency action plan describing the allergies, symptoms, and treatments can help prepare you if your child has another attack.

Can anaphylaxis be outgrown or cured?

Although children's allergies are often outgrown, anaphylaxis frequently lasts for many years or even for life. Periodic reevaluation may be needed to see if your child is still allergic and to review how to avoid triggers and treat reactions. In the case of anaphylaxis caused by stinging insects, immunotherapy (also called allergy injections or shots) can help prevent anaphylaxis from future stings, but is currently not available for other types of anaphylactic allergies.

To find out more

  • American Academy of Pediatrics— Section on Allergy and Immunology: www.aap.org/sections/allergy

  • American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology: www.aaaai.org/patients/gallery

  • American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: www.acaai.org/public

  • Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN): www.foodallergy.org

Please note: Listing of resources does not imply an endorsement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP is not responsible for the content of the resources mentioned in this publication. Phone numbers and Web site addresses are as current as possible, but may change at any time.

Products are mentioned for informational purposes only. Inclusion in this publication does not imply endorsement by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Copyright © 2007 American Academy of Pediatrics