Updated: Jun 3, 2020
Anaphylaxis is a severe life-threatening allergic reaction to the body. It’s a life-threatening Airway, Breathing or Circulation problem, with a rapid onset, where the person can become very ill very quickly.
A severe anaphylactic reaction is commonly triggered by:
Foods such as: dairy products, eggs, shellfish, tree nuts, sesame)
Non-foods such as: latex, wasp or bee stings and medication such as penicillin
When weaning you baby, make sure you introduce new foods one at the time and during the day. Choosing to feed them new food types during daytime rather than the evening, enables you to monitor your baby and respond if they develop an allergic reaction. Particularly introduce foods such as eggs, in small amounts and make sure is well-cooked.
Anaphylaxis is sudden, widespread and severe allergic reactions.
Learn to recognise an anaphylactic life-threatening allergic reaction:
generalised flushing of the skin
nettle rash (hives) anywhere on the body
sense of impending doom
swelling of throat and mouth
difficulty in swallowing or speaking
alterations in heart rate
abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting
sudden feeling of weakness (drop in blood pressure)
collapse and unconsciousness
A person would not necessarily experience all of these symptoms in the same episode.
What to do:
Call 999 or 112 for emergency help
Sit baby or child in a comfortable upright position to allow easier breathing
First line of treatment is Adrenaline auto-injectors (they may have antihistamines and inhalers). Adrenaline can be repeated at 5 -15 minutes intervals if there is no improvement or if symptoms return. Remember that there are NO contraindications for the use of adrenaline.
If baby or child becomes unconscious:
- If baby/child is breathing normally – hold/place them on their sides in the recovery position
- If baby/child is NOT breathing – commence CPR!
Great resources to be found at Anaphylaxis campaign and Natasha Allergy Research Foundation:
Written by Fi Ramos, Public Health Nurse & First Aid Instructor at Act2care.
Information on this site is evidence based and provided to create awareness and advice only. If you are worried about a condition, seek medical advice.
Theoretical first aid tips are beneficial, however practical demonstrations and exercises are necessary for gaining high standard of first aid knowledge and skills.
If you are interested in gaining first aid skills, contact Fi to find our more about our paediatric first aid classes at firstname.lastname@example.org