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When should I take my child to the ER for an allergic reaction?

An allergic reaction can cause mild symptoms to a severe, life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis. Severe allergic reactions can cause:
  • swelling of the face or throat
  • wheezing
  • difficulty breathing
  • stomach pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • fainting (passing out)
If you think your child may be having symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, you should call 911 immediately for your child to be taken to the emergency room. (Anaphylaxis requires emergency medical treatment.) 

Mild allergic symptoms often involve an itchy rash made up of bumps called hives.
Take your child to the emergency room (ER) for an allergic reaction as soon as possible, or call 911, if you notice any coughing or wheezing and extreme shortness of breath, followed by vomiting and the swelling of the eyes, lips or tongue. If your child has no allergy history, yet breaks out into a rash or hives, you should be able to treat that at home. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.