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HiPP's A-Z of pregnancy & child health

The A-Z contains information on many aspects of pregnancy
and child health. It is arranged alphabetically so you can find what you are looking for with ease. If you are at all concerned about your health or your child’s health, please consult your health professional.

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Anaphylaxis is the name given to a type of allergic reaction which affects the whole body. It can be life-threatening. Thankfully it is very rare; however if it occurs it requires immediate medical treatment and it is for this reason that all allergies should be taken seriously.

Anaphylaxis usually occurs within a few minutes of exposure to the allergen but can take a few hours to develop. The symptoms can be varied but include skin redness, urticaria (hives) appearing on the body, mouth and throat itching or swelling, difficulty in swallowing or speaking, heart beating faster, wheezing or worsening of asthma, feeling sick or vomiting, drop in blood pressure (may feel weak or fall down) and unconsciousness.

If you believe that your child may be experiencing anaphylaxis then immediately seek medical advice by calling 999 and follow their instructions. Usually it is treated by adrenaline (an EpiPen), and some people who have had anaphylaxis in the past carry this with them just in case.

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