IN THE LAST DECADES, THERE HAS BEEN A SIGNIFICANT RISE IN KIDDIE FOOD INTOLERANCES AND ALLERGIC REACTIONS. SCOTT WHIMPEY SAYS BEING PREPARED FOR EMERGENCIES IS KEY.
It is every parent’s worst nightmare to experience a situation when their child is in danger, particularly if a child goes in to anaphylactic shock. However, preparation and education is the key. Fist Aid Accident and Emergency (FAAE) is a business dedicated to educating the wider public in first aid training. FAAE founder Scott Whimpey gives haven readers some insight in how to best identify allergies and act in emergency situations.
Have we seen an increase in certain allergies over the years?
We certainly have. The most common allergies are nuts, dairy and egg. We have also seen a rise in the levels of gluten intolerance and allergy.
What is your best advice when introducing children to new foods, particularly those that are common causes of allergies?
When a small child starts to eat solids, it is a good idea for parents to use singular exposure to certain products. Another good way of testing can be to rub a small amount of the food on the child’s skin to see if there are any signs of inflammation or swelling. It is also important for parents to recognise the cause of certain issues as many misdiagnose reflux or bowel issues with an allergy.
What is the key indicator of an impending anaphylactic reaction?
This is a tough question as every body is different. Anaphylaxis is a form of extreme allergy that can occur within 10 minutes to an hour of eating. Some things to look out for are swelling of the face and lips, having hives (a red rash all over the body), breathing difficulties and, in smaller children, them becoming pale and floppy due to dropping of blood pressure. A good way of identifying symptoms of anaphylaxis is through an action plan if available. An action plan is a form that a medical practitioner fills out for those diagnosed with anaphylaxis or serious allergies. It gives the reader clear instructions on how to best handle an emergency situation and the various symptoms to look out for in an anaphylactic person.
What steps should people take when a person begins to experience an anaphylactic reaction?
It is very important to remember to always seek medical attention and call an ambulance immediately no matter what. Stay calm and follow the child/adult’s action plan if available. If child is not diagnosed and shows clear signs of an anaphylactic attack, you are able to give them an EpiPen or an asthma puffer if available. It is important for parents to recognise the identifying signs of an anaphylactic episode. While these tips give you some insight and information, they do not replace a proper first aid course.