Allergic Reactions

First Aid Tips

  • If you suspect an allergic reaction to a medication, do not give any more doses and call the child’s doctor for advice.
  • Seek emergency medical help for these signs of a serious allergic reaction:
    • Intense itching
    • Paleness
    • Sweating
    • Hives
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Hoarseness
    • Trouble breathing
    • Wheezing or swelling of the face, lips or eyelids
  • If the child has an epinephrine pen for a known allergy and you are trained to use it, inject it immediately.
  • Give over-the-counter oral antihistamines as recommended by the doctor, if the child is alert and able to swallow.
  • For skin reactions, including reaction to poison ivy, apply 1/2 percent hydrocortisone cream and use ice or cool soaks in oatmeal baths to help alleviate itching and swelling. If itching and swelling do not improve, contact the doctor.
  • If the reaction was due to a plant, including poison ivy, wash all items (shoes, clothes, etc.), the skin and hair, and even pets to remove the plant oil and prevent spreading.

If a child has been injured, observe her carefully and use your good judgement. Always consult a pediatrician or other healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns regarding her injury; if the injury appears serious or life-threatening, call 911 and seek emergency medical assistance right away.

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