Do you ever wonder how you can tell the difference between if your child is just dealing with a cold or if they’re suffering from allergies? If you do suspect that your child has allergies, then how do you determine if they are mild or serious? No one likes to run around with a runny nose all the time, so it might be beneficial to determine how serious your child’s allergies are and then seek treatment if necessary. Allergies are commonly passed from parent to child so chances are if you are seriously allergic to something it’s important to watch your child for the same symptoms. Check out 8 ways to tell your child may have serious allergies.
- Swelling of a different body part: Many people are allergic to bee stings, especially yellow jackets. A less severe allergic reaction would be if the area that was stung swells up shortly after the sting and then the swelling goes down over time. A more serious allergic reaction to a bee sting would be if another part of the body swells up instead of or in addition to the area that was stung. This typically includes, but certainly is not limited to, the throat. If this type of swelling occurs you should probably seek medical attention quickly.
- Breathing difficulties: Asthma-like breathing trouble can result from having severe allergies. Usually if your child has been running around and is then having breathing difficulties signs point to it being related to asthma and not an allergic reaction, though you should definitely check this out with your doctor before self-diagnosing. If a person is exposed to an allergen such as nuts, eggs, milk or soy and then starts having trouble breathing this may be a sign of a serious allergy, and you should immediately take the child to the emergency room.
- Rash or hives: Suffering from rashes or hives can be an indication of either a minor allergy or a more serious one. It is never a good idea to ignore hives or rashes. Usually these are the result of an allergy to a certain medication, and stopping use of the medicine will often stop the reaction. In the case of a quick reaction, or if the hives are accompanied by other symptoms, this could be signs of a serious allergy. A rash can also result from coming into contact with an allergen.
- Throat swelling: A pretty obvious sign of a serious allergy is the throat swelling closed and the child having trouble breathing or swallowing. A shot from an Epi pen may be the child’s only hope if the swelling is happening very quickly. It’s very important to give the shot properly to avoid further complications from the epinephrine in the shot. Throat swelling can result from insect stings, food allergies and medication allergies just to name a few, so it’s important to have your child tested for any major allergies.
- Sweating: Profuse sweating and breathing hard, experienced not as a result of exercise, could be a sign of a serious allergic reaction to something. This allergy could be environmental so try to identify if the child was exposed to something unusual that could have caused a severe allergic reaction.
- Faintness due to very low blood pressure: Serious allergies can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure. This sudden drop can cause the child to feel faint or to actually lose consciousness. If this happens try to determine if the child could have come into contact with an allergen. Moving the child away from the allergen may help, but if the child does not improve it could become life threatening. A quick reaction like fainting can signal a serious allergy.
- Vomiting: Probably one of the hardest symptoms to tie back to an allergy. Most often if a child is vomiting it’s due to an illness, eating too much, over activity and so on, but in some cases it can be the result of a serious food allergy. If there is no obvious reason that the child vomited it may be worth checking to see what they have eaten recently to see if it’s out of the norm for that child. Vomiting may also result in a combination of other more common allergic reactions.
- Tingling of the lips or mouth: Serious food allergies will cause a tingling of the mouth and/or lips and can signify a serious allergy to a specific food. Many times the tingling will be followed by swelling of the lips or face. It’s imperative that you seek immediate medical attention just in case the swelling continues and spreads into the throat because this could cut off the child’s air supply. This is a sign of anaphylaxis and can be treated with epinephrine or Benadryl if some is available. Often avoiding the food in question is enough and ongoing medication may not be necessary.