Cali Kids Urgent Care
Pediatric Urgent Care located in Laguna Niguel, CA
Whether your child is miserable with a congested nose and itchy eyes or suddenly develops a serious allergic reaction, you need fast medical attention. As a board-certified emergency medicine physician and a mother of three young children, Brittany Glenn, DO, at Cali Kids Urgent Care understands how frightening an allergic reaction can be and how urgent it is to provide a rapid diagnosis and treatment. You don’t need an appointment to get help; walk into the clinic in Laguna Niguel, California, to receive prompt care. If you don’t need immediate attention, call the office or use the convenient online booking feature to request an appointment.
Allergic Reaction Q & A
What causes allergies?
Allergies begin when the immune system overreacts and identifies a safe substance as a threat to harm your child’s body. Once the immune system tags the substance as dangerous, it becomes your child’s allergen. Every time your child encounters this allergen, they have an allergic reaction.
The most common allergens include:
- Pollen (from trees, grass, weeds, and flowers)
- Mold spores
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
- Poison ivy and oak
- Insect venom
- Food proteins
Ninety percent of children’s food allergies come from milk, peanuts, eggs, tree nuts, wheat, and soy.
What is an allergic reaction?
An allergic reaction refers to the way your child’s body responds to allergens. When their immune system detects an incoming allergen, it releases chemicals that cause the allergic reaction.
The reaction your child has depends on the type of allergy. However, they will have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Congested nose
- Red, watery eyes
- Itchy nose, eye, or mouth
- Red, itchy rash
- Dry, scaly skin
- Asthma symptoms (wheezing, coughing, difficulty breathing)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
Reactions such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are signs of a food allergy.
What is a life-threatening allergic reaction?
A severe, life-threatening allergic reaction occurs when your child’s immune system floods their body with chemicals. Instead of symptoms limited to their nose, eyes, or tummy, the chemicals affect their lungs, heart, blood vessels, skin, and gastrointestinal systems.
This allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis, happens quickly and causes symptoms such as:
- Swollen lips, tongue, and/or throat
- Difficulty breathing
Without a fast injection of epinephrine (prescribed by Dr. Glenn), their blood pressure drops, and they go into shock.
How are allergic reactions treated?
For the first step, Dr. Glenn performs a rapid, on-site allergy test to identify your child’s allergens. In most cases, allergy treatment begins with a plan to avoid allergens and use over-the-counter medications.
While all types of allergies benefit from limiting your child’s exposure to their allergens, this step is essential for food allergies. Other than oral immunotherapy for severe peanut allergies, there’s currently no treatment for food allergies. The only option is eliminating the food from their diet.
For other types of mild allergies, avoiding allergens and taking over-the-counter medications may be enough. If your child has moderate to severe allergic reactions, Dr. Glenn may recommend allergy shots.
Allergy shots are safe for children age 5 and older. With a regular series of allergy shots, their immune system gets used to the allergen and stops causing strong allergic reactions.
You don’t need an appointment to get fast help for an allergic reaction; simply bring your child to Cali Kids Urgent Care.
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