How to manage anaphylaxis in children?
Q: My sisters daughter is now 19 months old. 2 months ago, she had an attack of anaphylaxis. My sister had given some coconut water (narial pani). Within 2-3 minutes we started to see that it did not suit her and she started showing allergic reaction. We have seen her getting these kinds of reactions before too (when we fed her Bhavnagari Gathiya - she is allergic to Channa Lot also) but this was much serious. In next couple of minutes, the rashes (hives) spread to her whole face. Her eyes and lips got swollen and she was having difficulty in eating. This is when we knew this was much more serious than before (in medical terms its called Anaphylaxis. So my sister gave her an injection - Epinephrine to immediately attack the food proteins that are causing the allergic reaction. The injection will work for just 10 minutes or so, as it will give you time to reach the hospital in 10 minutes. Meanwhile the ambulance came and they went to hospital for precaution, but in the ambulance my sister saw that the allergy was coming back. In the hospital they gave her another 2 injections and she was in observation for 5 hours and then discharged. As she is staying in US and due to immediate medical help, she was saved, as this is a life threatening attack. As we are staying in India we were shocked to hear this. As we never heard anything of such a allergies or about anaphylaxis. And she is allergic to food we have to be careful that no one put anything food item in her mouth. So I would please like to know whether this allergy of her would be totally cured or not? And if it is, then by what period of time it will be cured? When should be the allergy testing done on her, as she is very small now. Her weight is also not increasing.
A:Young children frequently develop allergies to foods, for example peanuts, which cause alarming rashes and swellings. Such reactions are rarely dangerous in young children, unless they also happen to have asthma. Testing by the skin-prick technique is possible at any age, and well-tolerated by the children. If standard extracts are not available, the test can be done using a sample of the food or drink. Parents can be taught to administer adrenaline (epinephrine), using a ready-loaded pen such as an Epipen or an Anapen, if a reaction occurs to inadvertent exposure to the food. Useful websites include the Anaphylaxis Campaign in the UK, and a similar patient support group site in the US, which can be found on the internet by entering anaphylaxis into a search engine such as google. Sometimes young children spontaneously grow out of this type of allergy. The child should be retested with skin tests or IgE RAST testing when they are starting school, so that, if they are still at risk of a reaction, the school staff can be warned, and if necessary trained in the treatment of anaphylactic reactions.