If your child develops a rash after eating certain foods or a runny nose after playing outside in springtime, it might be time to get them tested for allergies.
While allergy tests are safe and not painful, they can still make children (and parents) feel anxious. Let’s look at what to expect and how you can prepare your child for allergy testing.
Why You Should Get Your Child Tested for Allergies
Though many people view allergies as a minor inconvenience, this is far from the truth. Not only can some allergies be severe and life-threatening, but they can also interfere with your child’s:
- Quality of sleep
- Performance in school
- Overall mood
Information to Have Before Appointment
Before going in to see the allergist, keep a detailed log that includes information such as:
- Your child’s allergy symptoms (nasal congestion, rash, etc.)
- When their allergies seem to occur (time of day or particular seasons)
- Potential triggers (certain foods, grass, pollen)
- Any other medical conditions your child has or medication they take
- Any family medical history of allergies, asthma, eczema, etc.
This information can help your child’s allergists notice any potential patterns and decide what type of allergy testing is best.
Types of Allergy Testing
A skin prick test is the most common form of skin testing. It has been used successfully for years and is considered extremely reliable. During this test, a doctor will prick your child’s skin with a small amount of possible allergy triggers. If they’re allergic, that spot will get itchy and red.
Blood tests are also sometimes used to diagnose allergies. Their doctor will take a blood sample to look for certain antibodies known to cause allergies. Blood tests can help confirm the results of a skin prick test or may be used instead if your child is already taking antihistamines or has a history of severe allergic reactions.
Talk to Your Child About Their Allergy Test
Reassure your child that allergy testing is not painful and that they will be OK. Explain to them that testing is necessary to find out what they are allergic to and will help make them feel better. You can even offer to do something fun afterward, like taking them to Sprinkles Ice Cream Shoppe to give them something to look forward to.
You can also consider ways to make the test easier for them. You can bring a book, toy or tablet to help distract them during the test. This can be especially helpful during skin testing as they may start to feel some itchiness as they react to allergens.
If results confirm that your child has allergies, their allergist will recommend specific treatments and prevention methods to help minimize their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
If you would like additional information or wish to schedule an appointment with one of our experts, call Pinnacle ENT today.