Children have unique ways of describing their experiences and perceptions including allergic reactions. Precious time is lost when adults do not immediately recognize that a reaction is occurring or don’t understand what the children might be telling them. The following text contains examples of the words a child might use to describe a reaction. In addition, know that sometimes children, especially very young ones, will put their hands in their mouths, or pull or scratch at their tongues, in response to a reaction. Also, children’s voices may change(i. e., become hoarse or squeaky), and they may slur their words. You might notice swelling of the mouth and throat area, flushing or paleness of the face, hives, difficulty breathing, vomiting or diarrhea. It ' s very important to recognize whether your child might be having a serious allergic reaction, in order to give him the injected epinephrine and get him emergency medical treatment right away. The symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can occur within minutes or up to a couple hours, including reactions of the mouth and intestinal tract, skin, respiratory tract and circulatory system. Sometimes it is hard to recognize the early signs of such a reaction in young children. They may not be able to explain what they ' re feeling, or they may explain it in a way that adults don ' t understand. The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network published a list of phrases that young children commonly use to describe the feeling of an allergic reaction. Here are some examples:
  • The food’s too spicy.
  • My tongue is hot(or burning).
  • It feels like something’s poking my tongue.
  • My tongue(or mouth) is tingling(or burning).
  • My tongue(or mouth) itches.
  • It(my tongue) feels like there is hair on it.
  • My tongue(my mouth) feels funny.
  • There’s a frog in my throat.
  • There ' s something stuck in my throat.
  • My tongue(my throat) feels full(or heavy or thick).
  • My lips feel tight.
  • My throat feels thick.
  • There are bugs in my ears(to describe itchy ears).
  • It feels like a bump is on the back of my tongue(or throat)
If you suspect that your child is having an allergic reaction, immediately follow your doctor's instructions.