Riley Hospital for Children Visitor Restrictions

Due to a rise in the number of reported flu cases and other respiratory viruses, Riley at IU Health is implementing visitor restrictions to protect patients and prevent further spreading. View full details.

Book Appointment Online with select physicians.
Request Appointment Online to schedule with one of our coordinators.
1.888.IUHEALTH for
Same-Day Primary Care Appointments.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.

When to Call: Food Allergies

A food allergy is an abnormal reaction of the immune system to specific foods. Food intolerance is similar to a food allergy, and can share some of the same symptoms. Food allergy symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening, but it can be difficult for a bystander or parent to know whether emergency medical attention is necessary.

A severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and should be treated as a medical emergency.

Seek emergency medical attention or call 9-1-1 if the following symptoms occur:

  • Trouble breathing, wheezing or deep coughing
  • Unusual paleness in the face, blue lips or blue earlobes
  • Rapid swelling of the throat or tongue
  • Feeling faint
  • Fast pulse
  • Signs of shock, including lightheadedness, confusion or disorientation, profuse sweating, nausea or vomiting

Children don’t always articulate these symptoms clearly. Instead, they may say things like, “My mouth feels funny,” “My tongue itches,” or “My throat feels thick.” If the person has an epi-pen for emergency treatment of a known food allergy, administer the epi-pen before you call for help, or have someone else inject it while you call 9-1-1.

If more serious symptoms like the ones listed above are not present, there may be a milder allergic reaction. If allergy symptoms are present, but are manageable or not overly bothersome, emergency attention may be unnecessary, but you should see a doctor to test for a possible food allergy.

Common food allergy symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea or cramping
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Itching
  • Hives or itchy welts on the skin
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue or mouth

Even a small amount of food can trigger an allergic reaction in severely allergic people. If you or your child has a known food allergy, your doctor can work with you on strategies for maintaining a balanced diet while avoiding foods that trigger a reaction.

Viewing all posts in …

Other Blog Posts That May Interest You

Blog Food Allergies In Children: What You Need To Know To Keep Your Family Safe

Food Allergies In Children: What You Need To Know To Keep Your Family Safe


It’s no secret that food allergies are on the rise—and I see it firsthand. As a board...

Continue reading

Get the Facts: Five Facts About Spring Allergies in Kids

Everyday Wellness

It’s not winter anymore. Cold and flu season is over. Yet your little one is sniffling, and...

Continue reading
Blog 5 Perfect Pets for Kids with Allergies

5 Perfect Pets for Kids with Allergies


For many, a pet dog or cat is a defining part of childhood. TV, movies, and art are filled with...

Continue reading

Viewing all posts in …