Watching a person experience an allergic reaction is scary, and it’s even more overwhelming when it’s happening to a child. If the child’s allergy is severe enough, this situation could be life-threatening. As a children’s nurse, there are many steps you can take to assess the situation, seek emergency care, and help the child’s family cope with the situation.
What to Do During an Allergic Reaction
1. Check for Symptoms
There are different levels of allergic reactions. Some children sneeze or get a runny nose, while others develop a few hives, an itchy mouth, or mild nausea. However, some symptoms require immediate medical attention, including facial swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing, fainting or dizziness, confusion, rapid or irregular heartbeats, and cold, clammy, or sweaty skin. If a child experiences any of these, it’s best to jump into action immediately.
2. Seek Emergency Attention
If you suspect the child is experiencing an allergic reaction, call 911 right away. If you have access to an epinephrine auto-injector, or EpiPen, as a children’s nurse, use it immediately. If they have another dose, you can use it as quickly as five minutes after the first one. Even if they start to improve after getting epinephrine, they still need to be taken to the hospital for observation. Make sure to keep the child calm and reassure them that everything will be alright.
3. Make Life Changes
Once the child has been cleared by the hospital, they may need to make some life changes, especially if they weren’t previously aware of the allergy. You can help their parents make an appointment with an allergist to help them assess what the child is allergic to. The allergist can also prescribe them their own EpiPen.
If you’re a children’s nurse looking to provide services in New York’s Westchester and Orange counties, J&D Ultracare is now hiring. They’re the only nurse staffing agency in the area that focuses only on providing in-home pediatric care. Employees receive medical and dental benefits, 401(k), and weekly paychecks. Visit their website to see available shifts or call (845) 357-4500 to learn more.