Anaphylaxis in children is a potential acute life‐threatening systemic hypersensitivity reaction. It is characterized by the life threatening potential through the breathing, circulatory, or airway problems and rapid onset. It is usually associated with mucosal and skin changes. Its sudden occurrence and heterogeneous clinical presentation in any setting without a warning affects the prompt recognition and treatment of this condition, which further leads to increased death risk.
Trends in epidemiology of anaphylaxis are assessed using the health data relating to admissions. For instance, in Europe, anaphylaxis’s lifetime prevalence is estimated to be 0.3% (95% CI 0.1‐0.5). Hospitalizations due to anaphylaxis are also increasing in many countries, particularly in young children; these increases are noted particularly for medication and food triggers. Anaphylaxis is a recognized cause of death in all ages, and the anaphylaxis‐related mortality rate is less than 1 per million per year in most high‐income countries. However, this estimate is likely to be lower than the actual rate of fatal anaphylaxis due to under‐diagnosis and under‐notification.
There is limited epidemiological data from middle‐ and low‐income countries. The anaphylaxis fatality rate is estimated to be 0.65% to 2%. Food is the main anaphylaxis trigger in children, notably peanuts, and tree nuts, and cow’s milk. Deaths are somewhat secondary to the laryngeal edema, observed in 40%‐50% of cases. Epinephrine is the medicine of choice for the first‐aid treatment of anaphylaxis. Personal history of allergy to particular foods such as tree nuts and peanuts, asthma and adolescence are known risk factors for anaphylaxis and more severe reactions.