All Parents Need to Know About This Kind of Allergic Reaction

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You may think an allergic reaction in your child will be clear cut and easy to treat. This mom in Texas warns that’s not always the case. Her 3-year-old daughter was in a doctor’s office having a controlled tree nut challenge when things went terribly wrong.

The little girl had been previously diagnosed with a nut allergy but was back to be checked again. Her Mom said that despite the initial diagnosis, her daughter hadn’t had any reactions at all to a variety of nuts. Doctors wanted to make sure it was, in fact, a true allergy.

All Parents Need to Know About This Kind of Allergic Reaction

So, they did another allergy test. It involved feeding the child one-tenth of a cashew and then waiting to see what happened.

Her Allergic Reaction Didn’t Look The Way Mom Expected

In the beginning, the girl’s allergic reaction seemed pretty straightforward. It’s never easy to see our kiddos in pain or uncomfortable, but doctors and nurses were in control and on top of each stage of the reaction.

After 5 minutes the little girl had itchy ears.

Next, she had a stomach ache and was itchy all over. It was at this point that doctors immediately administered an EpiPen shot as well as an oral Zyrtec.

However, within 10 minutes after the treatment, she was suffering from intense itching and had hives all over her body. This time they gave her a Prednisolone shot.

Only 5 minutes after the Prednisolone shot, she was wheezing, coughing, and had a rapid heart rate.

“It was nothing like we expected to see.”

When her child was wheezing, coughing and her pulse rate was increasing, the girl was playing and fussing only a little bit about being itchy. She wasn’t curled up in a ball crying, or grasping at her throat as though she was out of oxygen.

She was behaving like herself.

“It snuck up on us so unexpectedly and quietly,” the Mom said. “I expected to see choking, gasping, hear wheezing and see her grabbing at her chest and neck area. I expected the entire ordeal to be very fast and obvious and dramatic. It was actually very silent, and she didn’t show any severe trouble until very late in the game.”

You MUST act quickly to prevent anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis is a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. It can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to.

Because this Mom had believed anaphylaxis would be very dramatic to witness, she found herself absolutely floored at what it actually looked like.

“If she hadn’t already been given meds before she blacked out, I don’t want to think of how severe it could’ve been,”  the child’s mom said.

Don’t wait! When in doubt, use the EpiPen. If an allergic reaction happens to your child and you do not have an EpiPen, call your doctor or get to an Emergency Room right away.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis

Symptoms usually involve the skin, mouth, eyes, lungs, heart, gut, and brain.

According to, symptoms may include:

Skin rashes and itching and hives
Swelling of the lips, tongue or throat
Shortness of breath, trouble breathing, wheezing (whistling sound during breathing)
Dizziness and/or fainting
Stomach pain, vomiting or diarrhea
Feeling like something awful is about to happen

In closing…

Just remember that something so scary and dangerous as anaphylaxis doesn’t always present exactly the same way.

You know your child better than anyone, so trust your gut if you feel anxious about how they’re behaving.

Tell people in your child’s life exactly what this Texas mom tells people now.

“Please if you are one of the people that cares for my child or spends time with her, be careful what you eat around her, what you give her and DON’T be afraid to [use an EpiPen].”

We appreciate Julie Ferrier Berghaus for sharing her story online. Parents everywhere are sending you a big thank you, Julie.

You may ALSO want to read this warning from parents about popcorn.

Do you have a warning for parents?

Have you found yourself in the midst of an emergency with your child that you think other parents should know? Please tell us what happened, and what the outcome was.

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