Describe how to recognise and deal with allergic reactions to food

Rachel Long Support children and young people at meal or snack times 1. Children often have a smaller appetite than adults therefore their meals need to be dense and enriched with vitamins, energy and nutritional value.

Describe how to recognise and deal with allergic reactions to food

Signs and symptoms What is anaphylaxis? Anaphylaxis pronounced ana-fill-ax-is is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction affecting more than one body system such as the airways, heart, circulation, gut and skin.

Symptoms can start within seconds or minutes of exposure to the food or substance you are allergic to and usually will progress rapidly. On rare occasions there may be a delay in the onset of a few hours.

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What are the causes of anaphylaxis? The common causes of anaphylaxis include foods such as peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, shellfish, fish, sesame seeds and kiwi fruit, although many other foods have been known to trigger anaphylaxis.

Describe how to recognise and deal with allergic reactions to food

Non-food causes include wasp or bee stings, natural latex rubberand certain drugs such as penicillin. In some people exercise can trigger a severe reaction — either on its own or in combination with other factors such as food or drugs e. Why does anaphylaxis occur?

What are the symptoms of anaphylaxis?

Describe how to recognise and deal with allergic reactions to food

You may notice any of these severe symptoms: There may also be a dramatic fall in blood pressure anaphylactic shock.

The person may become weak and floppy and may have a sense of something terrible happening. This may lead to collapse, unconsciousness and — on rare occasions — death. In addition to those severe symptoms listed above, there may also be: Widespread flushing of the skin Nettle rash otherwise known as hives or urticaria Swelling of the skin known as angioedema anywhere on the body.

Swelling of the lips Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting These symptoms can also occur on their own, without the more severe ones. Where that is the case, the reaction is likely to be less serious but you should watch carefully in case any of the more severe ones develop.

There are several different types of reaction which could occur: Bi-phasic — these are reactions which may be mild or severe to start with, followed by a period of time when there are no symptoms, and then increasing symptoms with breathing and blood-pressure problems.

If you have an anaphylactic reaction, you will need an observation period in hospital after you have recovered in case you experience a biphasic reaction. Most biphasic reactions occur within hours of the initial reaction but rarely they can be more delayed Lee et al, On very rare occasions, a biphasic reaction has been known to occur as long as 72 hours after the initial reaction.

The length of the observation period would be for your treating doctor to decide. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence NICE recommends that people who have had a severe allergic reaction should be monitored for 6 — 12 hours within a hospital setting because of the risk of a bi-phasic reaction.

Children are likely to be admitted to hospital at leastovernight NICE What is the treatment for a severe reaction? Adrenaline is referred to in some countries as epinephrine, which is the internationally recognised term for adrenaline.

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page 2 Contents Page What is an allergic reaction?

2 Most allergic reactions to food occur immediately after swallowing, although some can occur up to several hours Food allergy reactions are unpredictable. The way that your body reacts to a food allergy one time cannot predict how it will react the next time.

From the moment you know or suspect you or a loved one has ingested an allergen, take /treating-allergic-reactions-to-food.

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