Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction. It comes on quickly and can be fatal. It often affects many body systems. This type of reaction is a medical emergency and immediate medical attention is important. Children with asthma and allergies to certain foods, stinging insects, or medicines are at highest risk, though anaphylaxis may occur in anyone. Your pediatrician may refer you to an allergist. An allergist has specialized training in diagnosing the cause of anaphylaxis and providing additional treatment. Parents should know the symptoms of anaphylaxis and what to do in case it happens to their child.

Anaphylaxis includes a wide range of symptoms that often happen quickly. The most severe symptoms restrict breathing and blood circulation. Combinations of symptoms may occur. The most common symptoms may affect the following:

Anaphylaxis occurs when the immune system overreacts to normally harmless substances called allergens. The following are the most common allergens...

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