If both parents have allergies, then their child has a 75% chance of also having them. If one parent has allergies, then there is a 50% chance. An estimated 5% of children age 5 years and younger have food allergies, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Infants and children often experience symptoms that raise the suspicion of an allergic reaction; anyone can be afflicted with allergies. So, if you do suspect that your son or daughter has an allergy, confirming it and finding its cause, can help to put them on the right path to feeling better, sooner rather than later.
- Some (food) allergies can be life threatening.
- Learn what and how to avoid specific trigger substances, such nuts, milk, soy, dust mites, pets, other specific foods, medication, etc. that will worsen the symptoms.
- Kids with allergies miss a lot of school days every year.
- Get help so that your child can get back to just enjoying being a kid again.
If your suspicions of an allergy are found, your doctor/allergist can then offer the most suitable therapeutic intervention(s), such as avoidance strategies, allergy shots, medication, and any diet modification instructions.
What to look for:
- Skin rashes such as eczema or dermatitis
- Adverse reactions to food, medication, bee or other insect stings
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Some symptoms of food allergies are potentially quite severe and could cause anaphylactic shock
- Cold-like symptoms that last for more than a week, occurring around the same time every year
- Inflamed or irritated nasal passages
- Asthmatic symptoms, coughing and wheezing particularly at night
Food or Allergy Diary. These simple records of what was eaten or what potential allergens your child met with, and symptoms, can help your allergist narrow down possible triggers.
Types of allergy testing
Skin Tests. Useful for detecting allergies to airborne particles, foods, insect stings, penicillin and other substances. For example: Percutaneous and intradermal skin tests are administered by applying a diluted allergen to a prick or a scratch in the top layer of the skin (percutaneous or scratch test) or by using a very thin needle to inject the diluted allergen into the skin (intradermal test). Both are considered extremely safe and relatively accurate. Percutaneous skin testing is rarely conducted on infants younger than 6 months old.
Intradermal testing, is indicated if the doctor strongly suspects penicillin or venom allergy that may have gone undetected by a percutaneous test. Although there is a low risk, it can cause anaphylaxis reaction, in highly sensitive patients.
The tested area of the skin is then observed for about 15 minutes to see if a reaction develops. A reaction of a wheal, which is a raised, red and itchy bump would indicate the presence of the allergy antibody. The larger the bump, the greater the sensitivity.
Patch tests. Used to diagnose allergic contact dermatitis for when your child is exposed to substances such as rubber, fragrances or certain metals. The patch test is left in place for 48 hours then the area is checked for reactions after the patch is removed.
Blood Tests. Radioallergosorbent (RAST) test or ImmunoCAP, is administered when skin tests are hard to administer. For example, your child is on medication that he/she cannot stop that could potentially the results. Blood tests may be less sensitive than skin tests in detecting allergies.
Elimination Diet Tests. Used to detect food allergies, you child will undergo a supervised weeklong diet that eliminates or isolates foods suspected to cause a reaction, such as milk, soy, eggs, peanuts, wheat, tree nuts and shellfish. As the diet may be hard to be supervised or followed, the doctor also may recommend food challenges; giving patients specific doses of foods in a controlled environment to assess reactions.
Allergy testing can help determine whether the symptom of concern is caused by an allergy. Therefore, you’ll know, is it simply a tummy ache or runny nose from a cold or flu or an allergy. Any medical test for a child can be scary, but knowing what to expect can lessen the anxiety on the day of the appointment. Our trained staff performs testing and diagnosis in a comfortable environment.
Call Dr. Theodore H. Gaylor, ENT doctor today at 610-770-9797 to make an appointment.
Cedar Crest Ear, Nose, and Throat Services
1251 S. Cedar Crest Blvd.
Adult and Pediatrics * Allergy testing and treatment * Ear disorders
Hearing and balance * Hearing aid sales and repair * Head & neck cancer
Sleep apnea/snoring * Swallowing disorders * Voice disorders
Sinus Disease * Thyroid Disorders * Lump in the neck
Chronic Stuffy Nose * Sore Throat * Post Nasal Drip