Allergy season has now arrived meaning lots of sniffles and sneezes for those affected. Hayfever can make peoples' lives miserable for a number of months of the year.
I went on a fascinating training day the other day all about allergy management in children which gave me lots of useful hints and tips.
With Easter almost upon us it is important to remember that there are those out there who will not be able to have their fill of chocolate because of a tummy ache caused by dairy allergy, or anaphylaxis caused by potential nut allergies.
Navigating the world of food and treats can be a tricky one for lots of children and families, especially when a lot of labels will say "may contain traces of nuts" for example and other phrases.
Would you know how to recognise that a person in your care or your company has the signs of an allergy?
Would you know how to keep them safe?
Allergies are triggered by an auto immune response to something (the immune system attacking itself). Allergies may not develop the first few times someone is exposed to the trigger and they tend to get worse with each exposure.
The most common allergies in children are egg. This is one that many will grow out of by the age of 5.
Other triggers are:
- Kiwi Fruit
- Shell fish
Signs and Symptoms
In a severe allergic reaction, symptoms can be quite dramatic and pronounced. They come on quickly and in the worst case can be fatal. Having said this, the chances of dying from anaphylaxis are apparently less than the chances of being murdered but nevertheless they can be life threatening and come on unexpectedly.
It is worth noting the symptoms of allergies:
Difficulty in breathing and facial swelling are symptoms of a more significant allergy and can develop within minutes of exposure. The exposure can be as simple as some nut oil on the skin or cross contamination when eating out.
If you think a person is developing a severe allergic reaction take the following steps.
- Sit them down and try to keep them calm as they may be feeling a sense of panic at the developing symptoms.
- Ask them if they have an allergy that they know of.
- If they do, see if they have an adrenaline auto injector on them. This is the treatment which should be given in the event of a severe allergic reaction. It helps to reverse the symptoms which are shown above very quickly.
- Call 999.
- If they are carrying an adrenaline auto injector on them it will either be a jext, epi pen or emerade pen. Check the date and encourage the person to administer this as shown in the pictures on the device (or above).
- If they don't have an adrenaline auto injector on them keep them calm and if they become unconscious put them in the recovery position.
Easter is a lovely family time for us all to enjoy and I know I will be tucking into some chocolatey treats, but as allergies can be unpredictable and arise all of a sudden make sure you know how to recognise them
For more information please visit www.safety-first-welling.org