Did you know one in 13 children suffers from food allergies? That equates to roughly two children in every classroom, according to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), a nonprofit aimed at enhancing the lives of people with food allergies through education and advocacy initiatives.
Allergic reactions in children can be a frightening and serious issue, especially when the child’s allergies are severe. To better inform parents, especially if a child was recently diagnosed with a severe allergy, our Texas daycare injury lawyers are here to shed light on the primary causes of allergic reactions, how daycare centers in Texas can protect children from them, and what injuries children can sustain from an allergic reaction. Our legal team will also provide tips and the steps to take after your child experiences an allergic reaction at a Texas daycare center.
What Can Cause an Allergic Reaction at a Daycare Center in Texas?
An allergic reaction occurs when a person’s immune system overreacts to a harmless substance. Oftentimes, these reactions happen when the substance, or allergen, comes into contact with a person’s skin, nose, eyes, respiratory tract, or gastrointestinal tract.
The most common substances that cause allergic reactions include:
- Food: Most children with food allergies are allergic to peanuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, shellfish, tree nuts, and sesame.
- Chemicals such as dyes, cleaning products, laundry detergents, and pesticides can cause allergic reactions in children.
- Medications like penicillin, aspirin, insulin, antibiotics used to treat infections that contain sulfonamides, and barbiturates that are commonly used to relieve anxiety and prevent seizures are most likely to trigger allergies in children, according to University Hospitals.
- Pollens and grasses can cause irritation, especially in the nose, throat, and eyes.
- Synthetic materials, including latex, polyester, rayon, nylon, spandex, and rubber, can provoke an allergic reaction.
How Can Texas Daycare Centers Prevent Allergic Reactions?
Texas daycare centers have a duty to provide safe care for every child, including those with allergies. Because a child’s allergic reaction could range in severity, prevention is key. Daycare facilities can prevent severe allergy reactions by having staff members and caregivers follow these simple steps:
- Get a detailed list of allergies for each child to know what foods, chemicals, and materials should be avoided in the classroom.
- Avoid providing foods or using chemical products that contain the known allergens without permission from a parent. This includes notifying parents of other children in the class, so they, too, can avoid packing certain food items in lunches or offer alternative cleaning products to teachers in order to prevent exposing the child to a substance that could trigger a severe reaction. Teachers should also properly label and store food and cleaning products to prevent a child coming into contact with a sensitive substance.
- In Texas, daycare centers must follow children’s medication laws in order to prevent allergic reactions or a worse fate. Childcare facilities can only administer prescription or over-the-counter medication with a parent’s permission.
In addition to following the preventive measures above, daycare centers should ensure that all teachers and staff members are trained on how to recognize when a child is experiencing an allergic reaction. They should also know how and when to administer an EpiPen, if an when other medications should be administered, and when to call 911.
What are Common Injuries that Children Can Experience Because of an Allergic Reaction at Daycare?
Every child’s body is different and that applies to the body’s sensitivity to an allergen. An allergic reaction can range from mild to severe.
According to the Mayo Clinic, common signs of an allergic reaction are:
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
- Extreme coughing, wheezing, or breathlessness
- Feeling or being sick, including experiencing nausea
- Hives, rash, or itchy skin
- Runny nose or sneezing
- Swollen eyes, lips, mouth, or other parts of the body
- Tingling or itching in the mouth
A child’s exposure to a severe allergy can be life-threatening. The condition for such extreme reactions is called anaphylaxis, which causes the body to go into shock within seconds or minutes of exposure to an allergen. If a child goes into anaphylaxis shock at a daycare center, it is vital that daycare workers recognize the child’s symptoms and administer an EpiPen, along with a potential visit to an emergency room. These severe reactions can be fatal if the child is not treated right away.
What Should You Do If Your Child Experiences an Allergic Reaction at a Dallas Daycare?
As we have established, a child’s exposure to allergens at a daycare is preventable by enacting and following safety procedures. If your child experiences an allergic reaction at a daycare in Texas, follow these four steps to help your child heal and hold the daycare accountable for any wrongdoings:
- Once you find out your child has had an allergic reaction at daycare, get medical attention immediately. Take the child to an emergency room or urgent care, as every minute counts when a child is experiencing a severe reaction.
- Report the incident to the state. You can report allegations of daycare neglect in Texas to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) by calling the Texas Abuse Hotline at 800-252-5400 or submit a report online at TXAbuseHotline.org.
- Document any information from the incident by keeping track of all correspondence from the childcare facility and its workers. Screenshot text messages and emails discussing the incident, take pictures or make copies of any letters from the daycare or its workers, and make detailed notes of any phone calls with the daycare as they occur. While it may be overwhelming to remember these steps when you are more concerned about your child, keeping a file of correspondence can benefit your family’s legal case to hold the daycare accountable for your child’s allergic reaction.
- Reach out to our experienced daycare injury lawyers by calling 214-699-4409 or filling out a contact form. Allergic reactions can result in significant physical and emotional trauma for your child. In fact, your family may be eligible for compensation to cover your child’s medical expenses, therapy, and other helpful resources. We are ready to listen and advise your family on the best approach to hold the daycare accountable and get justice for your child’s injuries. However, there is a two-year time limit for filing a personal injury claim in Texas, so reach out to our team as soon as possible.
In the tragic event that your child experiences a fatal reaction because of exposure to an allergen at daycare, your family may be eligible for compensation to cover funeral expenses, medical expenses incurred prior to passing away, emotional damages, and more.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Texas Daycare Injury Lawyers After Your Child Experiences an Allergic Reaction
Our team of experienced and compassionate daycare injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm is dedicated to advocating for you and your family if your child experiences an allergic reaction while in the care of a Texas daycare facility. With attorneys in Dallas, Houston, and Midland, we are ready to listen, fight for your family, and help your family move forward. Our attorneys at The Button Law Firm are recognized on the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers list, and we can help guide you after a traumatizing incident involving your child. We work on contingency, meaning we don’t charge you or collect any upfront fees to get started on your case. Call us at 214-699-4409 or fill out a contact form for a free consultation.