Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction to a trigger such as an allergy. It usually develops suddenly and can get worse very quickly.
Symptoms can include:
- Feeling lightheaded or faint
- Breathing difficulties such as fast, shallow breathing
- A fast heartbeat
- Clammy skin
- Confusion and anxiety
- Collapsing or losing consciousness
If your child is suffering from anaphylaxis, they may also experience other allergy symptoms which can include; feeling sick, swelling, stomach pain or having an itchy raised rash. Anaphylaxis is very serious and needs to be treated urgently.
What to do if a child has symptoms of anaphylaxis:
- Call 999 for an ambulance immediately, and say that you think they have anaphylaxis
- Remove any triggers if possible – for example, carefully remove any wasp or bee sting stuck in the skin
- Lie the person down flat – unless they’re unconscious or having breathing difficulties
- Use an adrenaline auto-injector (Epi-Pen) if you have one– but make sure you know how to use it correctly first
- Give another injection after 5-15 minutes if the symptoms don’t improve and a second auto-injector is available
If your child suffers from an allergy, it’s important that you let your child’s public health nurse team know, as well as school staff and others involved in their care. Your child will have a personal care plan given to them by their doctor and it’s important that school have this.
Please be aware your child’s school will not be able to give them their auto-injector without a care plan in place.