4 Signs a Child Is Suffering from an Allergic Reaction to Nuts

Nut allergies are some of the most common among both adults and children. Allergic reactions occur when the immune system overreacts to the proteins found in either tree nuts or peanuts, and they can result in anything from relatively mild symptoms that can be treated with antihistamine medicine to anaphylaxis that requires a shot of epinephrine. Both items can be found in most first aid kits, but what you really need to know is when they need to be applied.

Unfortunately, many children who have an allergic reaction to nuts will not have had one before and not understand what is happening. This means adults who spend a lot of time with children should really familiarize themselves with the common signs of an allergic reaction to nuts and understand how best to identify them in children.

Here are just four of the most common signs.

1. Hives or Rash

If you notice any swollen areas, bumps or discoloured areas across a child's body, that child may be having an allergic reaction. In more severe cases, hives will appear all over the body, though in most mild cases these will mainly be seen around the face. Apart from the visible signs, you should also pay attention to any excessive scratching in the children under your care since this could indicate a rash or hives.

2. Trouble Breathing

Most people assume that problems with breathing will be immediate and dramatic, but in many cases, an allergic reaction to nuts will only produce difficulty breathing. You may also notice children exhibiting wheezing, difficulty talking or a hoarse voice. Children who have not had this reaction before may report that something feels stuck in their throats.

3. Tingling in and Around the Mouth 

Another common sign that's easy for children to ignore is a light tingling in or around the mouth, but you can watch out for signs of discomfort or for drooling or slightly slurred speech. Additionally, if a child tells you their tongue or the area around their mouth feels hot or is 'burning', they could be experiencing an allergic reaction.

4. Weakness or Loss of Consciousness

A loss of consciousness might sound like an obvious sign, but it can be mistaken for simple tiredness after a long day. If a child seems to be more tired than they should be or complain of weakness, it's worth checking for other symptoms to ensure they aren't experiencing an allergic reaction. Especially in young children, you may also notice this weakness being associated with paler skin. 

For more information about first aid, contact a local professional.