Testing & Diagnosis for Allergies in Children

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The first step in treating your child is forming an accurate and complete diagnosis.

How can I get my child tested for allergies?

  • Skin Testing - If you suspect that your child is allergic to something specific, skin testing can confirm it. During this test, liquid-form extracts of the allergens are placed on the top layer of the skin through a pricking device. If the suspected allergen is indeed causing the allergic reaction, the skin will turn red where the test was applied. Skin testing usually yields results faster than blood tests.
  • In some situations doctors might do intradermal testing, meaning the allergen being tested for would be injected under the top layer of the skin. For example, a child might have venom testing to see if she’s allergic to stinging insects: She’d have a histamine place on her skin, and then a small amount of venom injected under the top layer of the skin. If at either step the skin develops a red spot, it means your child has an allergy to the venom, such as from a bee or wasp.
  • Blood Test - A measurement of specific IgE can help indicate if your child has allergies based on the level of IgE antibodies in their bloodstream. In reaction to allergens, the body typically produces more IgE antibodies; thus, higher IgE antibodies levels would indicate your child has allergies.

After any of these tests, your child’s doctor will review and discuss the results to outline the best treatment plan for your child.

Antibiotic allergies

As much as 10 percent of children are allergic to antibiotics. If your child has had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic, a doctor may advise an allergy test for antibiotics. The testing takes about two to four hours, most of which is time waiting between stages of testing. Learn how to test if your child is allergic to antibiotics

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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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