Pollen, pet dander, and insect bites and stings can cause slight to severe allergic reactions. Some reactions are slight with only itching and redness or, in the most severe cases, anaphylactic shock. Taking the time to prepare before an allergic reaction starts can save worry and lives.

Stay Calm

Remaining calm should always be the first step in handling an allergic reaction. Anxiety can worsen symptoms such as shortness of breath, hives, or stomach aches. Many children become frightened, but with a parents’ help, they can keep their panic under control. Help them breathe deeply, bringing down their heart rate. This can give you the time you need to treat the allergy symptoms. Your child is more likely to remain calm if you remain calm.

Find the Allergen

If you can, identify the allergen. This may seem obvious but if the allergen isn’t identified, exposure may continue to worsen the symptoms. Bee stingers should be carefully removed with a hard surface like a credit card. Be careful if using tweezers as they can release more venom into the skin. Move indoors if pollen is the culprit. Taking a shower can wash off the offending allergen but may not completely alleviate the symptoms.

Know the Symptoms

Watery eyes, nasal congestion, and a rash are common allergic reactions that most parents quickly recognize. But there are other symptoms you may not recognize. Such as:


  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness

In severe cases, shortness of breath, a drop in blood pressure, and narrowing airways can be signs of anaphylactic shock. Call 911 immediately if your child is having difficulty breathing.

Treat the Reaction

Treat any rash or hives that begin to develop with a cold compress or with over the counter hydrocortisone cream. This can help relieve itching and burning. Keep an eye on your child as allergic reactions can get worse without warning. If you notice their symptoms increasing such as the rash spreading, you may want to consult your regular physician. Having your child tested for allergies at a clinic like Oak Brook Allergists can help with treatment and/or prevention in the future.

If your child has repeated allergic reactions, there may be an allergen in your home or area that you have not identified. The more often a person is exposed to an allergen the more severe their reactions can become. Removing allergens from your child’s environment can stop reactions before they begin. Once you know what to watch for, you can treat help your child better manage allergies.