Allergies

Allergies occur when our body’s immune system has a reaction to a substance that is not typically harmful. In a school or camp setting, or any situation involving children, food allergies are a particular concern. In addition, many respiratory problems are caused by allergic reactions – these reactions are most severe in children who suffer from asthma. Furthermore, allergies can be caused by insect bites or pets.

Symptoms

Different types of allergies have different symptoms. Any of the following may be a sign of allergies:

  • Sneezing and irritation of the nose
  • Itching and redness of the eyes
  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain or bloating
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Skin irritation including rashes or hives
  • Swelling or itching skin
  • Dizziness

Who is at risk?

  • Children with known allergies
  • Children with asthma
  • Children in new environments
  • Anyone with a family history of allergies
  • People with known allergies are generally allergic to more than one substance

Treatment of Allergies

Specific treatments depend on the specific type of allergy. If you are suffering from one or more of the symptoms listed above, your doctor can help you diagnose the cause and prescribe appropriate treatment.

When should I see a doctor?

If symptoms interfere with normal day-to-day activities, or if there is a sudden onset of symptoms, you should see a doctor. This is especially important if a child under your care is experiencing severe or sudden symptoms.

For more information on School Allergies, see the following websites:

Classroom Corner: Helpful Resources for School Personnel, Tools for Parents, Fun for Kids

What is Anaphylaxis?

Avoiding An Allergic Reaction

How a Child Might Describe a Reaction

Insect Sting Info

Latex Allergy Info

Field Trip Tips

School Guidelines for Managing Students with Allergies – Family, School, and Student Responsibilities

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