One of the most frightening events occured at the end of last year. My daughter, after eating cashews, had a severe allergic reaction in which my husband and I had to call 911. Her eyes were almost swollen shut, she began wheezing and hives were apparent on majority of her little body. Talk about feeling helpless, nervous and most of all SCARED! Right away I gave her Benadryl® hoping that the antihistamine would help alleviate the reaction as we didn’t have an EpiPen Jr® for this type of emergency. Thankfully, once the emergency team arrived, they were able to give her medicine and take her to the hospital where she was immediately treated and released.
After our ordeal, we followed up with an allergist in which we learned she was allergic to tree nuts. She prescribed us an EpiPen Jr® in case she ever experienced an allergic reaction in the future. She prescribed us multiple pens to keep in a safe place in the house, daycare, car and one to keep in us at all times because you never where and when a reaction could occur. She suggested to have 2 pens handy. If an allergic reaction was to occur give her the medication followed by a second dose. The doctor explained that sometime anaphylaxis can occur even after a dose is given so a second dose can help decrease the possibility of a second occurrence.
With my little darlings being toddlers, they are still experimenting with different foods and being placed in different environments. I would advise any parent to introduce one new food at a time just in case a reaction does occur, you can easily pinpoint the culprit. Of course when a reaction like this occurs you’d be hesitate to offer your little treasure anything new but I say it’s better they be in your presence when a reaction occurs than with someone else. I make sure all new foods and environmental exposures are tried under parental guidance where we can administer medication quickly if need be.
In conjunction with my daughter being allergic to tree nuts, my son (her twin brother) was found to be allergic to fish so we needed double the amount of medication. Purchasing an EpiPen® even with insurance, can be pricey. Luckily I found that Mylan Specialty, maker of EpiPen Jr ®,offers $0 copay with their discount card that you can receive instantly online for FREE! Just click Epipen Jr® to be sign up for your free card.
Knowing what to look out for in case of an allergic reaction is the key to keeping your baby safe. Learn the signs for your precious munchkin’s such as wheezing, hives, swelling, increased heart rate just to name a few. There are 4 systems of the body which anaphylaxis can trigger which include respiratory (breathing), integrumentary (skin), cardiovascular (heart) and digestive (stomach). My doctor informed me that if two systems are reacting, epinephrine should be administered. A good example would be my daughter for instance; she was wheezing (respiratory) and she had hives (integrumentary). For more information regarding anaphylaxis, please visit Kidshealth.org.
Being a parent isn’t easy but it’s always worth it. Keep your baby blessing’s as safe and healthy as possible. They are our future.