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Allergy Testing for Children: What Age and What to Expect

Allergy Testing for Children: What Age and What to Expect

Allergy testing for children is suitable at any age, including infancy, aiding in the early identification and management of allergies. Tests like skin pricks, blood tests, or oral challenges help detect reactions to common allergens. Dr. Sree, MD, and our experienced Pediatric Associates of Frisco team ensure a comfortable experience, guiding you through the process and offering support. Addressing allergies early enhances your child’s well-being, providing a healthier future. Schedule an appointment today for peace of mind and proactive allergy management. For more information, contact us or request an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 9191 Kyser Way Suite 500, Frisco, TX 75033.

Allergy Testing for Children: What Age and What to Expect | Pediatric Associates of Frisco
Allergy Testing for Children: What Age and What to Expect | Pediatric Associates of Frisco

Table of Contents:

What to expect for child allergy testing?
Is allergy testing for kids painful?
What happens at allergy testing for toddlers?
What not to eat before an allergy test?
How long does an allergy test take?

What to expect for child allergy testing?


For parents, it can be stressful knowing your child is going for an allergy test, so knowing exactly what to expect can calm your nerves so you can be the best support for your child during this time. Before your appointment is it worth keeping a log of what your child has been exposed to and what exposures have indicated or caused allergic reactions, so your pediatrician can look this over and see what potential allergens will not need to be tested for at the first appointment. If your child is above 6 months old they will be able to have a skin test done, also known as the skin prick test, which involves the doctor marking circles on the child’s arm, leg or back and then gently pricking the skin to expose it to the allergen, as each prick is done they will make note of what allergen was used and where. Since allergy testing can be done at any age, other tests can be used in children less than 6 months old, such as blood tests where they will look to see what antibodies are present as these antibodies are specific to what they are there to “attack”. If you have had it that your child has experienced hives or rashes, your pediatrician may do a patch test, which is where they expose the skin to the believed allergen for an extended amount of time to see if the skin becomes irritated.

Some allergies can be hereditary, so if you or your partner have any allergies, or any other family members do, it can be important to have your child tested for these allergies as well, since hereditary allergies or health conditions are passed through genes. Some allergies are called cross-reactions, where the food consumed may not be the allergen but still causes a reaction since it has a similar protein to the food that causes allergies, an example of this is children allergic to kiwis may have a reaction to strawberries, or a child allergic to apples may react to birch pollen.

Is allergy testing for kids painful?


Allergy testing itself is not painful for anyone, children included, as the methods used do not puncture the skin and merely scrap the surface of the skin, so there is no bleeding involved there may be some mild discomfort but this will only be momentarily. If your child does react they may experience some itchiness at the site if a skin prick test was used, however, your pediatrician will be able to prescribe you medications like anti-histamine or recommend a topical use product to ease the symptoms after the test is completed.

What happens at allergy testing for toddlers?


Similar to allergy testing for children, your pediatrician is going to go over your toddlers’ medical history, and your family’s medical history if you or your partner have any severe allergies or any other immediate family members since some allergies can be hereditary. The doctor may also do a physical exam of your child, to see if they can see any other indications of allergies that may have been overlooked, or missed previously.

What not to eat before an allergy test?


It is important to make sure you avoid taking any medications that can skew the results of an allergy test or give a false negative. Avoid prescription antihistamines, nonprescription antihistamines, asthma medicine omalizumab, heartburn medicines, and tricyclic antidepressants since these medications can hide an allergic reaction or cause it to not happen at all giving a false negative. You may be asked to stop these medications up to 10 days before the test, with omalizumab this could be a long time since it has been shown to skew results up to 6 months after discontinuing the use.

Foods to avoid in the 24 hours leading up to the appointment are foods that are known for cross-reaction, like cherries, apples, strawberries, kiwi, bananas, melons, or cucumbers as these could cause false positives. You should also avoid giving your child any foods you are concerned are the cause of their allergies as this will not make the tests more accurate. Caffeinated beverages like soda, or non-herbal tea, can elevate the heart rate which can also mask allergic reactions and should be avoided in the 24 hours before the appointment.

How long does an allergy test take?


With the test taking between 20-40 minutes, the majority of this time is going to be spent watching to see if the child has an immediate or delayed response to any of the allergen exposures.

Schedule your child’s allergy testing appointment at Pediatric Associates of Frisco today. Our experienced team ensures a comfortable process for early allergy detection. With our support, you can take proactive steps towards managing your child’s allergies and promoting their well-being. Don’t wait – secure your child’s health and happiness now. For more information, contact us or request an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 9191 Kyser Way Suite 500, Frisco, TX 75033. We serve patients from Frisco TX, Little Elm TX, The Colony TX, McKinney TX, Prosper TX, Aubrey TX, Oak Point TX, Lakewood Village TX, Plano TX, and Dallas TX.