How Do You Know If Your Kid Is Having An Allergic Reaction?


Even if you only think your child is having an allergic reaction, acting fast to seek emergency medical care significantly reduces the likelihood of further complications, including death. Children experience common symptoms of allergic reactions to foods, medicines, and irritants such as pollen, mountain cedar, and insect bites. Distinguishing between mild and severe symptoms enables you to decide when to seek medical attention.


Mild Versus Severe Symptoms

An allergic reaction occurs seconds to several hours after exposure to new foods, medicines, and other substances that may or may not be known to cause your child discomfort. These common, less serious symptoms resolve themselves within several hours to a few days, and typically do not require medical attention:


  • Itchy, red swelling across the skin (Hives).
  • Coughing, sneezing, and/or a runny nose.
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomachache.
  • Complaints of a strange taste in the child’s mouth.
  • Watery, itchy eyes.


The following symptoms indicate your child is having an extreme allergic reaction, or anaphylaxis. These symptoms are more obvious and demand calling 911 for immediate medical care:


  • Visible swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat that interferes with breathing.
  • Blue or gray coloration in the child’s skin and nails.
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing.
  • Tightness in chest.
  • Severe, persistent abdominal pain.
  • Fainting.
  • Unconsciousness.


If your child’s doctor already prescribed injectable epinephrine due to a history of severe allergies, administer a dose as you wait for medical assistance. As you wait for your child to be seen by a doctor, refrain from administering other allergy medications if your child struggles to breathe. In the event of a bee or wasp sting, do not remove the stinger with tweezers. This only allows more venom to enter the child’s body. Instead, lightly scrape the stinger away with a bankcard or your fingernail.


Uptown Emergency Room provides swift, appropriate treatment for your child’s allergic reaction, monitoring symptoms to prevent their reoccurrence shortly after they first began. If you are located within the Dallas area, call us at (214) 217-1818.