What to Do When Your Infant Has an Allergic Reaction

It’s scary, for a parent, when your little one has an allergic reaction to something that she ate or that she was exposed to. This is especially true if the allergic reaction was severe. Being informed about what to do in the event your baby has a reaction is important for every parent, even if your baby doesn’t have a history of allergies.

First of all, you need to be able to recognize whether or not your baby is having an allergic reaction in the first place. A severe allergic reaction usually includes swelling, especially in the face and in the lips, diarrhea, and probably also includes trouble breathing. If your baby’s allergic reaction is more on the mild side, he may just have a few hives or a small rash. In some cases, he might just be fussy with no explanation. This is actually a common reason for babies who have been able to sleep through the night to suddenly have trouble sleeping one night.

When your infant has an allergic reaction, you need to move fast. If there is any trouble breathing at all, you should call 911 right away. When your baby has a severe allergic reaction that affects her breathing, it’s possible for her airway to close up entirely. If that happens, her supply of oxygen will be cut off altogether. If it’s not addressed quickly, you could wind up facing long-term problems such as brain damage. In some cases, a severe allergic reaction can lead to death.

If the reaction is less severe, you can try to treat your infant at home. You can give your baby Benadryl, for example, which should stop the itching and discomfort, and may also help him to sleep. Tylenol can help with the pain, too. Of course, follow the dosing instructions for these types of medications, and always talk to your health care provider before giving a new medication to your baby.

After your baby has had an allergic reaction, she should see the doctor. Your doctor may be able to do an allergy test so as to find out what it is she’s allergic to, so that you can avoid those particular foods or substances.