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Antibiotic Allergies: The Sitch on the Itch

The night before I left for the Blissdom social media conference, we took our son to a “Minute Clinic” and found out he had an ear infection. It was no big deal – he seemed okay and we walked out with a prescription for amoxicillin, a typical antibiotic for toddlers. Harry had been on amoxicillin before, so we began the dose that night.

Nine days later, he woke up with a little rash on his back. Within minutes, the rash was spreading and within hours, his entire body was covered in red, itchy splotches. We were up at a mountain retreat for a family reunion, pretty far away on a Saturday from any doctor. Thankfully, my mother is a nurse and immediately recognized it as an allergic reaction to antibiotics. I chatted with the nurse on call and we treated it with over-the counter remedies. I spent the weekend with a miserable little boy, but thankful it was nothing more than a rash.

Needless to say, amoxicillin is officially on his record for allergies and we won’t be using it ever again.

In case your toddler ever errupts in a rash from an antibiotic, here are some signs and things you can do to help (although be sure to call your doctor!):

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  • image-3477 1 of 8
    image-3477
    Click through to read about antibiotic allergies in toddlers and what you can do to protect your child.
  • Most children have mild reactions 2 of 8
    Most children have mild reactions
    Hives and rashes are most common, but some children have severe symptoms, such as wheezing and anaphylaxis. If your child has any difficulty breathing or swallowing, go to the ER immediately.
    Source: About.com Pediatrics
  • Stop the medication immediately. 3 of 8
    Stop the medication immediately.
    It will take a few days for the rash and symptoms to disappear as the medicine leaves the body.
    Source: About.com Pediatrics
  • It can happen quickly or slowly. 4 of 8
    It can happen quickly or slowly.
    The allergy can be triggered within minutes or it can take days or weeks. It can also happen after your child has successfully taken that antibiotic before, so don't write it off if he's never had an issue before.
    Source: About.com Pediatrics
  • You’ll need to be vigilant. 5 of 8
    You'll need to be vigilant.
    The allergy can get worse quickly, so keep an eye on your child's breathing and the spread of the rash.
    Source: LiveStrong.com
  • What can you do? 6 of 8
    What can you do?
    First, talk to your pediatrician. We found that an oatmeal bath and over-the-counter anti-itch cream helped ease his discomfort, along with doses of children's Benedryl.
    Source: About.com Pediatrics
  • Let care providers know. 7 of 8
    Let care providers know.
    Obviously, let your pediatrician know and have it on his chart. You'll also need to allert family members and childcare providers in case of an emergency.
    Source: LiveStrong.com
  • What other meds should we avoid? 8 of 8
    What other meds should we avoid?
    A child allergic to amoxicillan should avoid penicillin, amoxil, and augmentin.
    Source: About.com Pediatrics

Sources: Livestrong.com and About.com: Pediatrics
photos: istockphoto

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