Date
20 November 2019

Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis symptoms usually occur within minutes of exposure to an allergen. Sometimes it can occur a half-hour or longer after exposure.

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What to look for

What to look for

A short animation explaining the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms

Anaphylaxis should always be treated as a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment.

Delayed administration of adrenaline can be life threatening.

 

 

One or more of these symptoms is a sign of anaphylaxis:

  • difficult/noisy breathing
  • swelling of tongue
  • swelling/tightness in throat
  • difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice
  • wheeze or persistent cough
  • loss of consciousness
  • collapse
  • pale and floppy (young children).

Source: Guidelines for early childhood services and schools. Allergy New Zealand (opens in a new tab/window)

Recognise food allergy symptoms

Recognise food allergy symptoms

Examples of how young children with food allergies might communicate their symptoms.

  1. It feels like something is poking my tongue.
  2. My tongue (or mouth) is tingling (or burning).
  3. My tongue (or mouth) itches.
  4. My tongue feels like there is hair on it.
  5. My mouth feels funny.
  6. There’s a frog in my throat.
  7. There’s something stuck in my throat.
  8. My tongue feels full (or heavy).
  9. My lips feel tight.
  10. My throat feels thick.
  11. It feels like a bump is on the back of my tongue or throat.

Source: Food Allergy Research and Education (opens in a new tab/window)

Ask family and whānau

Ask family and whānau

Younger children may not be able to communicate their symptoms.

Ask parents:

  • the signs you need to be aware of
  • how their child communicates symptoms
  • if their child has ever had anaphylaxis.

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Anaphylaxis resources

Publisher: Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy

Visit website

Allergy and anaphylaxis guidelines for early childhood services and schools

Allergy and anaphylaxis guidelines for early childhood services and schools

Read time: 37 min

Publisher: Allergy New Zealand

Visit website

File

What is anaphylaxis?

Read time: 3 min

Publisher: Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia

Download PDF

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Recognise and respond to allergic reactions”:

Return to the guide “Allergies and learning”

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