Published: Wednesday 25 September 2019

Many of us have mild allergies such as hayfever which is triggered by pollen. However, more serious allergic reactions can also be referred to as anaphylaxis, and you may have also heard the term anaphylactic shock. There are a number of things that can trigger such a reaction and these include insect stings, nuts, shellfish and prescribed drugs like aspirin, for example.

How can you spot a severe allergic reaction?

There are a number of warning signs including:

  • Blotchy skin, a rash or flushed skin
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Itchy or puffy eyes
  • Swelling of the tongue, lips and throat
  • Anxiety and signs of shock

What can you do to help?

  • Always call 999 if there any concerns around breathing issues.
  • If you can, find out if the child carries an auto-injector of adrenaline and administer it as soon as possible. If you work in a child-care setting, it is preferable to have had training in the proper and safe use of an auto-injector.
  • If the child is only displaying problems with their breathing, they may want to sit up but they must lie down immediately if they do start to feel faint.
  • If the child is unconscious, the proper child resuscitation process must be followed.

Dealing with allergic reactions in children and how to use an auto-injector pen is covered in our Paediatric First Aid course for childcare professionals. We've courses coming up in Brighton & Hove and Angmering in West Sussex with dates throughout the year. We also offer in-house courses so we can train your team in a venue of your choice at a time to suit you. Get in touch to find out more or take a look at the calendar to book your course.

Alternatively, if you're a parent or carer looking to learn Baby and Child First Aid skills, we have courses coming up in Brighton & Hove and Angmering. We also offer at-home courses for groups of friends or family who wish to learn together. You can book our open courses online or give us a call on 01273 702496 to find out more about our at-home Baby and Child First Aid courses.

Photo credit: James Heilman, MD - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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