Why Your Child Should Receive an Allergy Test

Orlando Pediatrician

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Everyone is pretty familiar with signs of allergies: sniffling, sneezing, skin irritation. Although these symptoms appear to be minor in nature, allergies should always be properly addressed by a pediatrician. If left untreated, allergies can become much more serious and contribute to other health conditions. To avoid potential complications related to untreated allergies, it is important that your child receives an allergy test.

Why should I get my child tested for allergies?

Since allergies are common in infants and children, testing for allergies is extremely important. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, about 80% of children with asthma have allergies and 8% percent of children younger than age six have food allergies. In fact, as the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology attests, allergy-related disorders are among the leading chronic diseases diagnosed in children.

How do allergies develop in children?

The tendency to develop allergies is often hereditary, which means it can be passed down through your genes. A child whose biological parents both have allergies has a 75% chance of developing allergies. If one parent or relative on one side of the family has allergies, then the child has a 50% chance of developing them.

What are symptoms are related to allergies?

Allergies can manifest in different ways. Symptoms include hives, runny nose, rhinitis (hay fever), skin rashes, itching or swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat, upset stomach, cramps, bloating, diarrhea, and in the most extreme cases, anaphylactic shock. To help prevent these symptoms from occurring, a pediatrician should diagnose what particular allergen is causing the reaction.

What does an allergy test for my child consist of?

Allergy tests can be skin tests, blood tests, or elimination diet tests (for food allergies). Skin tests are the most common, and generally have four types: scratch, puncture, prick, and intradermal. Those may sound a bit painful and intimidating for children, but thanks to AllerVision, there’s a painless method of administering the skin test. After the skin is cleaned with an alcohol swab, a device with small tines applies antigens to the skin, poking it, but not piercing it. This may cause slight discomfort, and if allergies are discovered, itchiness will occur, but there is no pain involved.

What do I do if my child is diagnosed with allergies?

After a diagnosis, your pediatrician can determine the best course of action. You’ll learn what allergens your child needs to avoid, and what medication he or she needs to treat the symptoms. Your pediatrician may also recommend “immunotherapy” to help treat allergies at their source. Immunotherapy is commonly delivered through shots, but AllerVision also offers drops that are placed under the tongue daily, a method that has been used for 60 years. Both methods are effective at naturally decreasing the body’s sensitivity to allergens, and can gradually bring environmental allergies into complete remission.

Allergies are a very common problem, especially for children, but help is readily available. It all starts with an appointment for an allergy test, which you can make today at your Orlando Pediatrician Office online or by phone at 407-335-4760.