Does your child experience itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing and/or wheezing after spending time at Bardascino Park? If so, they may benefit from immunotherapy, more commonly referred to as allergy shots. If your child’s allergist has mentioned allergy shots, you may have a lot of questions regarding their safety. We answer these common questions below.
What Do Allergy Shots Treat?
Allergy shots aren’t just for treating hay fever (allergic rhinitis). They can also treat eye allergies (conjunctivitis), allergic asthma and eczema (atopic dermatitis) in children. In addition, they can help prevent the development of asthma in children with allergies.
When Should a Child Get an Allergy Test?
In order to get allergy shots, a child must first get an allergy test in order to determine what exactly they are allergic to. It’s a common misconception that children have to be a certain age to get an allergy test; infants as young as one month old can tolerate allergy tests.
If you’re unsure about whether your child should get an allergy test, consider this: does the discomfort your child feels when they’re having allergy symptoms outweigh the discomfort of getting an allergy test? If you answered yes, an allergy test is appropriate. You can talk with an expert allergist at Pinnacle ENT to figure out the answer to this question.
When Should a Child Start Allergy Shots?
Allergy shots are safe even for young children, but there are some considerations when it comes to determining when your particular child is ready. Consider the following questions:
- Can my child communicate if they’re experiencing symptoms or side effects from the allergy shots?
- Is my child old enough to cooperate with the physician who is administering allergy shots?
- Does my child tolerate regular immunizations well?
If you answered yes to these questions, your child is old enough for allergy shots. If you answered no, they may need to wait. Some children can get allergy shots as young as five or six, though some need to wait until they are 10 or 12.
How Safe Are Allergy Shots for Children?
Allergy shots are considered highly safe and effective, even for children. However, there is always a risk of side effects, usually local irritation at the injection site. Your allergist can help you weigh the risks and benefits of this allergy treatment.
If your child has severe allergies, there’s a slight risk of a serious reaction known as anaphylaxis. Because allergy shots are performed in an allergy clinic, there will be highly-trained staff at the ready should this type of reaction occur.
To discuss the risks and benefits of allergy shots for your child or to schedule an appointment, call Pinnacle ENT today.