Time for allergies to spring into action. Do you know what to do? An allergic reaction is an immune response to something that isn't normally harmful. Children with family members who have allergies are more likely to develop allergies. Allergies are very common in children who have asthma and can trigger asthma attacks. Some allergies are more likely to cause severe and dangerous reactions. These allergies include food allergies, insect stings, medication allergies and latex allergies.
Common symptoms of allergies include itchy, stinging, red, or watery eyes, runny or congested nose, rash or hives or itchy skin, and itching or swelling in the mouth or throat. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms typically involve more than one part of the body and can include:
- Red rash (usually itchy), with hives or welts.
- Swollen throat or tongue or swollen areas of the body.
- Wheezing, a lump in the throat and /or trouble breathing or swallowing.
- Dizziness or passing out.
- Vomiting, diarrhea and /or stomach cramping.
- Pale or red color to the face or body.
A severe reaction requires immediate injection of epinephrine followed by a trip to the emergency room. The individual must go to the emergency room even if the symptoms subside, to ensure the reaction does not recur.
Managing Allergies and Staying Safe
- Get testing from an allergist to identify allergens.
- Help your child avoid known allergens as much as possible.
- Follow the doctor's treatment and medication plan. Make sure your child has access to any emergency medications at all times.
- Consider having your child wear a medic alert bracelet listing allergens and location or emergency medication.
- Check epinephrine expiration dates regularly- epipens often expire after a year.
- Notify caregivers, school nurse and teachers of your child's allergies. Make sure the treatment plan and authorization to administer emergency medication are current at school.
If your child has severe food allergies:
- Find out if related allergens may also cause reactions. For example, children allergic to shrimp may also be allergic to crab, lobster and crayfish.
- Educate family and friends on the dangers or exposure; a reaction can be caused by touching the allergen or even breathing the dust from the food.
- Be aware of cross contamination in processed foods and food prepared at home.
- For more information, check out the following websites: www.foodallergy.org , www.acaai.erg/allergist/Pages/default.aspx , and www.niad.nih.gov/topics/allergicdiseases/Pages/default.aspx .
Kiwi Mango Salsa- Enjoy this salsa with tortilla chips or spoon over chicken or fish. Prep Time: 15 minutes
- 1 kiwi fruit, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup mango, diced
- 1 Tablespoon cilantro, chopped
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon chiles, minced
- Pinch of salt
Directions: Placed all ingredients in a bowl and mix gently. Serve with chips.
Kiwifruit Cobbler- Sweet kiwifruit and a swift kick of lemon meet in a delightful and satisfying cobbler.
- 12 kiwifruit, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon of grated lemon peel
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 package prepared corn muffin mix
- 1 tablespoon additional brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream(optional)
Directions: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Place cubed kiwifruit in well-greased baking casserole. combine brown sugar, lemon peel, and flour and sprinkle on top of fruit. Mix lightly and place in hot oven for 25 minutes. Prepare half package muffin mix as directed. When fruit mixture is hot and bubbling, spoon on prepared mix. Mix extra brown sugar and nutmeg and sprinkle on top. Return cobbler to oven for another 18-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and done. Remove and allow to cool. Serv warm with ice cream or whipped cream.