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The Allergy and Asthma Program at Boston Children's Hospital is part of the Division of Immunology. The program evaluates children with all types of allergy problems. We also conduct skin testing to determine your child’s allergies. Allergies are the immune system’s reaction to certain foreign substances called allergens. Common allergens include dust mites, pollen, pet dander, insect stings, medications, and food. When your immune system reacts to these allergens by coughing, sneezing, or wheezing, it means you’re allergic to it.
We are also experts in treatment of asthma, which is caused by allergies in approximately two-thirds of children with asthma. Pulmonary function testing, which measures lung function, is available for children 6 and older with respiratory issues. Our providers are experts in designing a treatment plan to allow children with asthma to participate in all activities and prevent exacerbations.
Treatments are designed to suppress the allergic reaction, so that your child can be safely exposed to the allergens and have the symptoms treated when they occur. Our treatment approaches range from environmental controls to immunotherapy (allergy shots).
Within our program also exists the Atopic Dermatitis Center, which treats children with severe eczema and food allergies. In addition to these, our program treats other allergic problems your child may have, such as asthma, respiratory distress, hay fever, hives, and reactions to medicine and vaccines.
Our team approach to allergies and asthma
Our team works in collaboration with your child’s primary care physician to create an individualized treatment plan outlining steps you and your child can take at home to treat your child’s allergies. We also offer various support groups and workshops for children and parents on topics, including learning to cope with food allergies and controlling asthma.
When appropriate, we also work closely with our colleagues in the Dermatology, Psychology, Nutrition, Pulmonary, Gastroenterology, and Otolaryngology programs to ensure every child receives the most comprehensive and coordinated care. Physicians in our program also collaborate with Boston Children’s researchers to conduct clinical trials to evaluate new approaches to the treatment of allergic conditions, and we are working on ways to reverse allergies through innovative desensitization treatments.