Definition:• “An allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to a substance thats harmless to most people” (Nemours 2012).• The immune system treats the substance as an invader and overreacts causing symptoms that may only be irritating or they can end up being very harmful/life threatening.
Overview• “Allergies are the most common • More than 50% of children with cause of chronic health problems symptoms are undiagnosed among young children and may (Marotz, 2009, p.100). affect as many as one in every five children” (Marotz, 2009, p.100) • The immune system produces (AAFA, 2006). antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE).• Allergies are responsible for losing an estimated 2 million school days • Those antibodies cause allergy cells per year (Nemours, 2012). in the body to release histamine, into the bloodstream to protect the• The substance that causes the body against the invader. allergic reaction is called an allergen (dust, pollen, food, • The release of histamine is what medicine). causes the allergic person’s symptoms. (Nemours, 2012)
How You Get Allergies• Allergies are often hereditary.• A person does not inherit a certain allergy just because Mom, Dad, or someone in the family has the allergy. They just inherit the likeliness to have allergies in general.• Children can sometimes have allergies even if no one in their family does. (Nemours, 2012)
Common Allergies Food Airborne • Cow’s milk • Dust mites • Eggs • Pollen • Seafood • Molds • Shellfish • Pet (dander, hair, urine and • Peanuts saliva) • Tree nuts • Cockroaches • Soy • Wheat(Nemours, 2012)
Signs and SymptomsCommon Body Sites • Skin contact (contactants) cause skin irritation, rashes, hives, eczema. • Injections (injectables) cause respiratory, digestive, and skin issues. • Ingestion (ingestants) cause digestive upset and respiratory problems. • Inhalation (inhalants) affect the respiratory system leading to runny nose, cough, wheezing, and itchy/watery eyes. (Marotz, 2009, p. 100)
Signs and Symptoms Cont…Mild Severe• Itchiness • Tongue or mouth swelling• Skin redness • Difficulty swallowing or• Slight swelling speaking• Stuffy, runny nose • Difficulty breathing• Sneezing • Abdominal pain, nausea,• Itchy, watery eyes vomiting, or diarrhea• Hives • Dizziness or fainting (Nemours, 2012)
Anaphylaxis• A severe allergic reaction to substances like bee stings, medication, and certain foods.• Happens within seconds of exposure to allergen or can take up to 2 hours if the reaction is from a certain food.• Can cause shock and swelling of the air passages and is life-threatening.• Requires urgent medical attention!• Call 911 for an ambulance! (Marotz, 2009, p.103)
Cross-reactions• A cross-reaction is what happens when a child is allergic to a specific substance but, has a reaction from a different substance because of similar make-up.• “For example, kids who are allergic to birch pollen might have reactions when they eat an apple because that apple is made up of a protein similar to one in the pollen. Another example is that kids who are allergic to latex (as in gloves or certain types of hospital equipment) are more likely to be allergic to kiwifruit, water chestnuts, or bananas” (Nemours, 2012).
Condition Management• There is no cure for allergies but, they can be treated and kept under control.• If recognized early symptoms and complications are less severe and easier to control.• Know and limit child’s exposure to allergens.• Smoking increases problems for children with respiratory allergies.• Monitor child after administering medicine since some medication can alter behavior (grogginess, excessive thirst, agitation, etc.) (Marotz, 2009, p.103)
Teaching Modifications• Know each child’s allergy history.• Have a plan of action if an allergic reaction occurs.• Give/get training on how to administer medicine (EpiPens, bronchodilators, nasal sprays, etc.)• Be a peanut free school!!
Addressing The Issue In Class• Make a list of each child’s allergy and post it inside the classroom in a visible spot.• Discuss the issue with students to help them understand what allergies are. Stress the importance of not sharing food with classmates.• Inform parents of food allergies in the classroom so they can bring appropriate treats for birthdays and holiday celebrations.
Bibliography• Marotz, L.R., Cross, M.Z., & Rush, J.M. (7th Edition) Health, Safety & Nutrition for the Young Child. Albany, NY: Delmar.• Kids Health from Nemours. (2012). All About Allergies. Retrieved January 23, 2012 from, http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/allergies/ allergy.html#