Allergy Testing for Kids: What to Expect

Allergy Testing for Kids: What to Expect

What are the signs of food allergy?

The symptoms of food allergy are very similar to those of other allergic diseases such as hay fever or asthma. These include itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, wheeze and cough. Other common symptoms may include difficulty breathing (asthma), swelling in your face and lips (hives) and a rash all over your body. You may feel tired, dizzy or have trouble concentrating. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

Food allergy can develop at any time during pregnancy and even before birth. However, if you think that you might have food allergy then it’s best to get tested right away. The earlier the better because there is no guarantee that the condition will go away on its own without treatment.

How do I know if my baby has food allergy?

You can’t tell whether your baby has food allergy from looking at him. However, you can check the amount of mucus produced in his mouth by gently pressing on his gums with your finger. If the mucus comes out easily when you press down hard, then he probably doesn’t have any problem digesting foods. In severe cases, an infant may also have diarrhea or vomiting after eating certain foods.

What are the possible tests for food allergy?

The most common tests for diagnosing food allergies include skin prick test (SPT) and blood test. In skin prick test, a small needle injects small amounts of potential allergens such as peanut oil under the skin on your back and arms. If you are allergic to the substance, the area will swell slightly. For blood test, a small amount of blood is drawn out of your arm and tested for specific allergy antibodies. Your doctor will recommend the most suitable test based on your symptoms.

What happens during food challenge tests?

After conducting skin prick tests and blood tests, your doctors may recommend food challenge tests if the results suggest that you are highly likely to suffer from an allergic reaction after coming in contact with specific foods. In this test, you will be given small amounts of food allergens one by one. A nurse will monitor your condition during the test such as blood pressure and heart rate. The test is considered to be successful if you do not experience any allergic symptoms even after consuming a food that you are allergic to.

Are there any risks involved in food challenge tests?

Sources & references used in this article:

Contact allergy to triphenyl phosphate: probable cross‐reactivity to triphenyl phosphite present in an EN46001 System 22 clear oxygen facemask by CR Holden, KW Shum, DJ Gawkrodger – Contact dermatitis, 2006 – Wiley Online Library

“I want to meet other kids like me”: support needs of children with asthma and allergies by M Stewart, JR Masuda, N Letourneau… – Issues in …, 2011 – Taylor & Francis

Practice guidelines for peanut allergies by C Sitton, HS Temples – Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 2018 – Elsevier

Breastfeeding and risk of atopic dermatitis, by parental history of allergy, during the first 18 months of life by C Stabell Benn, J Wohlfahrt, P Aaby… – American journal of …, 2004 – academic.oup.com