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Most allergic reactions are mild in nature, but some can become severe and life threatening. Allergic reactions can be caused by insect stings, food, medications, or environmental elements. If your child shows signs of a mild allergic reaction, such as itchiness, skin irritation, watery eyes, stuffy nose, or minor hives and bumps, make note of the reaction and do your best to avoid contact with the substance.

Consult emergency medical care if . . .

  • The child suffers swelling to the face or mouth
  • Has difficulty breathing or is wheezing
  • Has difficulty swallowing or talking
  • Becomes dizzy, disoriented, or loses consciousness
  • Suffers abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting from the reaction
  • Your child was exposed to a food or substance that in the past has caused a severe allergic reaction.

Severe allergies and your child’s school

In dealing with dozens of kids at a time, child care workers in the normal hustle and bustle of the day can sometimes make mistakes. People are imperfect, and even the best of centers can have lapses. There are, however, a few simple steps parents can take, to rest a little easier knowing that their child is safe:

  • Be sure to personally speak with all the teachers of the school or center about your child’s allergy, not just the ones in your child’s class, as people often substitute in different rooms.

  • Remind teachers on a constant basis about your child’s allergy. Don’t assume that once is enough.

  • Remind teachers before a field trip to be sure to bring the epipen if one is needed.

  • Make a large poster to give to your child’s school for alerting people of your child’s allergy, so that it can be posted where everyone can see. (At least one for the kitchen and one for your child’s class.)

  • For food allergies, specifically talk with the cook as well, as they may be more likely to remember than the childcare providers.

  • Teach your child about his or her allergy as soon as they can talk, so that they can watch out for themselves as well.

When to consult a Doctor for an allergy

  • If mild symptoms persist for several days.
  • If you are unable to determine what caused the allergic reaction.

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