Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis educational campaign rolled out this morning. It features Emmy® Award Winning “Modern Family” (ABC) Actress Julie Bowen speaking about anaphylaxis in an online video in order to educate the schools about the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction. The campaign goes on to announce an essay contest to students in grades 1 – 12. The winner of the essay contest will receive a $2,000 college scholarship. The contest asks students to enter an idea “to help their school become more aware of and better prepared to support students who may be at risk”. Students who are interested in entering this contest may find more information at Anaphylaxis101.com.
If you don’t know what anaphylaxis is, a link to the NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) website explanation is here. It is important that everyone, especially people taking care of our children in schools, parents, grandparents and caregivers know the signs and symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction and that the only medication that will stop an anaphylactic reaction is epinephrine. The signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis can be any of the following and may occur minutes to hours after ingestion of an offending food, bee sting or taking medication:
Metalic taste or tingling in the mouth
Swelling of the tongue, lips or throat
Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Vomiting or diarrhea
Rash or itchy skin
Coughing or wheezing
Loss of consciousness
Increased heart rate
Dizziness or sudden weakness
In 2010 NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) changed its guidelines to say that the definition of anaphylaxis is two or more of the symptoms below.
- Skin symptoms or swollen lips
- Difficulty breathing
- A drop in blood pressure
- GI symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or cramping
In the case of anaphylaxis, the ONLY thing that can stop a reaction is epinephrine. Epinephrine is administered in an auto-injector and is only available by prescription. If you or your loved one thinks that they may have experienced anaphylaxis, see your Doctor or board certified Allergist.
You can find the NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) report here.