Conflict of interest: None.
Insect allergy in children
Article first published online: 16 APR 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2013 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 49, Issue 9, pages E381–E387, September 2013
How to Cite
Tan, J. W. and Campbell, D. E. (2013), Insect allergy in children. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 49: E381–E387. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12178
- Issue published online: 5 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 16 APR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 9 DEC 2012
- insect allergy
Allergic reactions to insect bites and stings are common, and the severity of reactions range from local reaction to anaphylaxis. In children, large local reaction to bites and stings is the most common presentation. Stings from insects of the order Hymenoptera (bees, wasps and ants) are the most common cause of insect anaphylaxis; however, the proportion of insect allergic children who develop anaphylaxis to an insect sting is lower than that of insect allergic adults. History is most important in diagnosing anaphylaxis, as laboratory tests can be unreliable. Venom immunotherapy is effective, where suitable allergen extract is available, but is only warranted in children with systemic reactions to insect venom. Large local reactions are at low risk of progression to anaphylaxis on subsequent stings, and hence, venom immunotherapy is not necessary.