The school year is off and running! Hopefully you and your students are settling into a routine. But, for some it's hard to relax when their children are away because they face some potentially scary situations. Allergies can be tough with school and all the other going on.
The school setting becomes critical for children and teenagers most at risk for anaphylaxis due to increased exposure to potential allergic triggers. So, doctors say the key is to get everyone involved -- teachers, counselors, the school nurse, other students -- so, that the risk factors go down.
"If someone has only had mild symptoms from their food allergy or life-threatening allergy in the past, that doesn't guarantee that the symptoms will always be mild. They should be prepared to deal with life-threatening symptoms that might occur with the next exposure. That's why it's important in the school to have a plan in place, an action plan. So, everyone in the school community: teachers, nurses, principals knows what to do if an allergic reaction does occur," explains Dr. Hemant Sharma. Dr. Sharma is the associate chief of Allergy at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
These types of allergies -- often times from food, insect stings or even things like latex -- are allergic reactions that are rapid in on-set and again, can be life-threatening. It happens with someone comes into contact with a food or other trigger to which they are allergic.
Signs of anaphylaxis include dizziness, headaches, confusion, chest pain, trouble breathing, itchy throat, rashes, and swelling of the lips or tongue.
Again, Dr. Sharma says if your child is at risk for anaphylaxis, you should set up a plan of treatment with the folks at school. Make sure everyone knows what to do. This is a very serious topic and it can be very scary for Moms and Dads.
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