According to the World Allergy Organization (WAO), the sensitization rate to common allergens among school-aged children worldwide is approaching 40-50%. National Health Interview Survey data reports that 7.7% of children in the U.S. have hay fever, 6.5% of children have food allergies, and 13.5% of children have skin allergies. Clearly, allergies are a widespread issue for households with young kids. Acute allergies can produce scary health consequences; kids can miss school or be fatigued because they’re up all night coughing. In severe cases, kids can have a life-threatening reaction to food exposure or with insect stings. For your child’s safety, it’s essential to pinpoint the source of symptoms as soon as possible, especially with food allergies. Read on to learn more about allergies in children and how to protect your child.
If your child develops hives after eating a particular snack or has sneezing fits at certain times of year that over-the-counter allergy medication cannot resolve, you may want to consider allergy testing. Allergy testing is a process of blood tests, skin tests, or elimination diet tests aimed at identifying sensitivity to common allergens like:
- Plant pollen
- Insect stings
- Animal dander
- Foods (i.e eggs, milk, peanuts)
Such tests can help diagnose food allergies and other potential allergens, such as common environmental allergies like mold, dust mites, pollens, and animal dander. The kind of testing depends on if your child has food or environmental allergies.
When Parents Should Allergy Test Their Kids
Allergy testing may be recommended by your pediatrician if your child has a respiratory condition such as asthma to determine the cause of symptoms. Our experienced pediatric doctors at Sunlife Pediatric Network recommends parents to allergy test any child with concerns for environmental allergies to help guide treatment of symptoms, avoid triggers, and potentially plan for immunotherapy. Common indicators of allergies or allergic reaction in children include:
- Rhinitis (congestion, sneezing, nasal drip, runny nose)
- Skin rashes
- Itchy eyes or skin
- Digestion problems (nausea, cramps, diarrhea, or vomiting)
Allergy testing kids can help determine if the symptoms your child is exhibiting are allergy-related or a separate issue. If you only have vague suspicions your child may have a food sensitivity, however, testing isn’t always necessary. Food allergy testing shouldn’t be introduced without a solid history of clinical reactions, as food panels unfortunately have high false positive rates, leading to unnecessary avoidance of food. Always discuss your results with a board-certified allergist with the resources to execute oral food challenges. If we think your child may suffer from allergies, we will likely refer you to an immunologist or allergist specializing in allergic reactions and allergy testing.
Contact Us Today
If your child consistently exhibits allergic symptoms, it is key to take action and consult with your pediatrician. Allergic reactions can range from life-threatening, such as anaphylactic shock, to having a serious impact on their quality of life by affecting sleep and breathing patterns. Sunlife Pediatric Network is a top pediatric clinic in Pembroke Pines. Call Sunlife Pediatric Network to make an appointment today.