Allergies are quite common in children. If you’ve noticed your child has reactions to certain foods, or has lingering nasal congestion or cold-type symptoms, it’s a good idea to take them to an allergist who can perform testing.
Before Their Appointment
Before the appointment, try to keep a log of your child’s allergy symptoms. Note when they occur and what if anything seemed to trigger their symptoms. This can help the allergist notice if there are any patterns.
Allergy Test Types
Informing your doctor of your child’s symptoms and possible exposures will also help them determine what type of allergy testing to perform, as there are several options.
A skin prick test is the most common form of skin testing. It involves a small drop of an allergen being placed on the skin. Your child’s skin will then be pricked with a needle so that some of the allergen can get into the skin. If your child is allergic to that particular substance, a swollen reddish bump will form where they were pricked.
Skin prick tests are considered very accurate and are usually appropriate for anyone over six months old.
Another allergy skin testing option is called an intradermal test. In this test, a small amount of the potential allergen is injected under the skin using a thin needle.
An allergist can also test for allergies by drawing blood. Blood tests may take longer to get results and they are less effective at determining some allergies as opposed to others. However, doctors may be more inclined to use blood tests if your child:
- Is on medication that may interfere with skin testing
- Has eczema
- Is expected to have a severe allergic reaction
How to Manage Your Child’s Allergy Symptoms
If allergy testing confirms that your child does have allergies, treatment and prevention will depend on the type and severity of their condition. Some options include:
- Taking medication like antihistamines
- Removing certain foods from their diet
- Playing inside instead of going to Oakhurst Park on days where pollen levels are high
- Carrying an epinephrine injector if they have severe allergies, in case of anaphylaxis.
If you have additional questions about your child’s allergies or wish to schedule an appointment with one of our experts, contact ENT of Georgia North today.