Dealing With Allergies to Medications

  • By: The DIG for Kids
  • Time to read: 3 min.
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Medications are usually given to sick children to make them better, but if your child suffers from an allergy to certain medications, then the effect could be far from welcome. In the case of allergies to medications, you may need to take various precautions to ensure your child is kept safe from adverse effects.

Medications are designed with the aim of making people feel better and easing certain symptoms of illness and disease, but they don’t always have quite that effect. For a number of people, both children and adults alike, the tablets or medicines prescribed to help them get better have an adverse effect. These effects can range from minor irritations, such as hives or skin reactions, to very serious reactions, such as breathing problems or Anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical attention.

Sadly, one of the key ways in which allergies to medications become known is through the reaction occurring. But once it is known about, the harmful medications can be avoided in future. This is sometimes easier said than done though, and there are various issues that parents and children need to be aware of.

Informing Medical Practitioners

When your child first experiences an allergy to medications, you may take it for granted that it will be recorded on their medical file. While this should be the case, sometimes details slip through the net or are recorded in a less prominent area of their records. As a parent, you can do your bit to ensure your child’s safety by making sure that the details have been recorded, and that everyone that should be aware of the allergy does actually know about it.

It’s especially important when your child sees a different doctor, registers with a new doctor or even sees the dentist, as all of these people will need to know about the allergy. It’s possible, for example, for a child to have multiple allergies to medications – either different ones, or medications with some of the same components in them as the ones they’ve already had a reaction to.

Going Into Hospital

If your child needs to go into hospital to have an operation, then it’s essential that details of their medication allergies are made fully aware. As a part of a pre-operative assessment, you’ll have to fill in a form relating to your child’s health background before the operation occurs, and there should be space to record details of their medication allergies here. If space isn’t provided, then make sure you do provide details and tell doctors about the offending medications.

Hospitals are usually very thorough with information when a child has medication allergies, so you can rest assured that they will be properly cared for when having an operation. Anyone in hospital wears a hospital band around their wrist with details of their name and ward, but those with allergies usually have an extra band too – often red – to signify and record details of their allergies. This means that everyone dealing with your child, whether familiar with their medical background or not, will instantly be able to see they have allergies that they need to be aware of.

Allergy Alert Bracelets

In case of emergencies, it’s useful to purchase and get your child to wear an allergy alert bracelet or another form of wearable ID. The idea is that it contains details of your child’s allergy so that, if they are suddenly ill or have an accident when they’re at school or elsewhere, medical teams and ambulance staff will be able to access the relevant details and avoid treating your child with any of the offending medications.

It can be difficult to suffer from allergies to medications, especially medicines that are commonly used. But by being aware of the allergy and helping to keep everyone relevant informed of the situation, safety can be maintained and the risk of having an allergic reaction minimised.

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