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A Parent’s Guide To Child Allergy Testing

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Child sneezing

Trying to determine the source of your child’s allergic reactions requires a series of tests. Allergy testing can cause some anxiety for parents and their children due to not understanding the process. Once you understand how allergy testing is done, you can help your child feel less nervous. Going to your appointment with knowledge of the process will make you and your child calm and help the appointment go smoothly. Read on to find out how to prepare your child for allergy testing, what to expect during the tests, and how to wait for the results.

Preparing for allergy testing

Skin allergy tests are performed to determine your child’s specific allergic reactions. Percutaneous and intradermal tests are used to introduce possible allergens. The percutaneous test will introduce diluted versions of allergens to the top layer of the skin by either a scratch or a tiny poke. The intradermal test uses a needle to inject the allergens.

About a week before your appointment for allergy testing, you should refrain from giving your child antihistamines. Make sure to discuss which alternatives you have for preventing allergic reactions during this time with your physician. You will also want to talk with your child about the allergy testing. Explain that the tests will help find out what is making them sick and determine how to fix the problem so they can get better.

What to expect during the tests

During the allergy testing, if one of the applied substances causes a reaction, the spot will become itchy and swell, much like a mosquito bite. The area will be measured and then a topical steroid or oral antihistamine will be given to calm the reaction. The doctor will then tell you how to avoid the substances that caused the reaction. Your pediatrician can advise you on how to change daily habits to avoid contact with allergens as well.

The results from the allergy testing are taken from the percutaneous testing. Your child may then need to have the intradermal allergy testing to further understand reactions to antibiotics or venom. If your child is allergic to insect venom, this test will help determine the type of insect they are allergic to. This form of testing involves a needle, so you may need to further coach your child on what to expect.

Waiting for the results of the allergy testing

After the allergy testing, it will take about fifteen minutes before an allergic reaction develops. While you wait for the results, you and your child can put together a puzzle or read a book to help pass the time. It is important to keep your child busy so they don’t become anxious. Allergy testing is rather quick, so it should not be to difficult to keep your child busy.

Allergy blood tests

Blood allergy testing can be performed with only one draw of blood. This test can identify a host of different allergens, including foods. Only having to stick your child once to draw the blood will make the appointment go much smoother.

At John M. Young M.D., Pediatrics, we understand how allergy testing can be stressful. Dr. John Young is committed to making allergy testing as easy as possible for you and for your child. Call our office at 806-354-0404 to schedule an appointment for allergy testing and find out how to solve your child’s allergic reactions. You can also Contact Us via email or visit us in person at 1500 S. Coulter St., Suite #3 in Amarillo, Texas to learn more about our services.