Severe allergic reactions common during holidays

Published On: Dec 17 2012 11:22:27 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 18 2012 08:53:17 AM CST
LA CROSSE, Wis. -

A new survey shows more than half of kids with life-threatening allergies have experienced a severe reaction during a winter holiday event.

Anaphylaxis is a potentially fatal reaction that is quickly triggered when a person eats a food they are allergic to such as nuts and wheat.

An allergist at Gundersen Lutheran who has a child with life-threatening allergies says it's a frightening thought, but parents need to be ready. "People have these events coming up, we want them to participate in the events, but they need to be prepared, some of the simple things are calling ahead, looking at labels, making sure the epi-pen is available," said Dr. Todd Mahr.

Mahr also says it's important to have an action plan written down and with the child at all times.