Now a serious allergic reaction that can be life-threatening is called anaphylaxis, this is a severe sudden reaction that affects many parts of the body all at the same time and it typically begins within minutes after an allergen is introduced to the body, this severe allergic reaction can cause the body’s vessels all over the body to dilate, in other words they open all the way up and cause anaphylactic shock, the full opening of the blood vessels causes a sudden drop in the blood pressure and the brain and the other vital organs become oxygen starved, anaphylactic shock will cause death if it’s not treated, now the treatment is epinephrine which helps constrict the blood vessels and open the airways, now the most common things that cause anaphylaxis are foods such as peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs, and milk, biting or stinging insects such as bees latex and medications. Now food is generally the most common cause of anaphylaxis with peanuts being the most common cause of fast severe and life-threatening reactions because severe nut allergies tend to affect children, a lot of fear is associated with nut allergies, it has become a very popular and emotional topic, this is the reason that many schools, airlines, food manufacturers and other places have become nut free zones but more effective than banning nuts completely, there are precautions public facilities can and should practice such as having nut free tables at lunch for children to eat, most importantly children need to be taught what foods to avoid, children with allergies need to carry an EpiPen.
Schools, daycares, camps and other places that typically serve food to children should have epi pens for emergencies, now preventing an emergency is the best but if an emergency happens, you need to know how to recognize it and be prepared to handle it, the following signs and symptoms would indicate a person is going into anaphylactic shock; trouble breathing, wheezing, tightness of the throat, an itch enos on the tongue, swelling of the face, eyes, lips, hives itching, flushed or pale skin, rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, maybe they have nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, dizziness, fainting or eventually unconsciousness. Children may describe their symptoms in the following way though they may say things like it feels like something’s poking my tongue or my tongue is tingling, my mouth pitches my tongue, feels like there’s hair on it, my mouth feels funny, there’s something stuck in my throat, they might say things like my lips feel tight, or my body feels weird all over and if you recognize any of the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, don’t wait for signs and symptoms to get worse, call 9-1-1 immediately and if it’s available, assist with or administer an auto injectable epinephrine such as an EpiPen, keep the person calm, have them sit down and be in a position of comfort.
While you’re waiting for the ambulance, let them sit in a position that’s easiest for them to breathe, typically this is sitting up and leaning forward and if the person feels faint or is not fully conscious, lie them down, elevate their legs and keep the person warm, talk to them, reassure them and keep the person’s airway open while monitoring their breathing and be prepared to start CPR if the person stops breathing and becomes unresponsive, it is possible for a reaction to happen again after the initial reaction so most people should be really cautious and be observed during the following four to six hours after they had their first initial event, remember the best way to help somebody in an anaphylactic reaction is to recognize their signs and symptoms early, activate EMS calling 9-1-1 or a code and then assisting them with their EpiPen to reverse their symptoms and help save their life.