How We Can Help
Pediatric Allergies Treatment Information
Our physicians help you and your child manage their allergies through the comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services listed below:
- Allergy skin testing. Skin testing is a safe, quick way to identify what allergens activate your child’s immune system. During the test, we prick the child’s skin with needles and expose the area to a small amount of allergen. If the area becomes red and swollen, it is an indication that the child is sensitized to that substance. After identifying what allergens your child is sensitive to, we can provide personalized education and treatment options to best help your child manage their symptoms.
- Allergy blood testing. If your child also has asthma, we may suggest blood testing instead. Blood testing takes longer, between a few days or a few weeks to get results, but is safer for children with severe allergies and asthma because it does not involve any exposure to allergens. We draw a small amount of blood that is sent to a lab to be studied for the presence of specific antibodies. Specific antibodies are present in varying amounts in children who are sensitized to certain allergens. Antibodies are immune cells that are specifically designed for whatever foreign substance they are fighting, whether it is an allergen, bacterium or virus. By identifying what antibodies are present in your child, we can identify what they are sensitive to.
- Allergy medicines. A wide variety of allergy medicines are available by prescription and over-the-counter. Some medicines may be better suited for children than others, so always be sure to consult your physician.
- Antihistamines are pills that keep the body from producing a chemical called histamine. Histamine is part of the immune system reaction to allergens that causes swelling and inflammation. Antihistamines are effective for nasal and skin allergies.
- Decongestants, which are available as nose sprays or pills, keep the blood vessels in the nose and airways from swelling. They help keep these passages open, making it easier to breathe.
- Corticosteroids may come in inhalers, creams or pills, depending on the type of allergy and its severity. They also work to reduce inflammation caused by allergies, reducing itchiness, swelling and redness.
- Immunotherapy. Immunotherapy, also called allergy shots, provides a long-term solution for allergy symptoms. Your child will receive shots in the allergist’s office that expose them to allergens. Over time, they receive greater and greater exposure until their immune system builds up a tolerance of allergen, eliminating or reducing the need for allergy medicines. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved a new form of immunotherapy called allergy pills. These pills, which are small, dissolvable tablets, are placed below the tongue and provide the same exposure as allergy shots without injections. Your child must take the first drop in the physician’s office to be observed for adverse reactions. If they have no reactions, they may take the pills at home, reducing the need for office visits.
- Education. Depending on the type of allergy your child has, you may be able to avoid the allergen altogether, such as eliminating exposure to medicines or foods that cause allergic reactions. However, airborne allergens like pollen and dust mites are impossible to avoid completely. You can take measures in your home, such as using high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and cleaning often, to reduce exposure to these allergens. We teach you how to use these strategies as well as all medicines. Some children may need to carry an epinephrine injection, commonly called an EpiPen, at all times in case of accidental exposure to allergens like bee stings. Epinephrine injections stop anaphylaxis, a severe reaction to allergens that can cause major cardiovascular and respiratory problems. We teach parents and children how to use these injections in emergency situations.
Pediatric Allergies Locations & Physicians
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Pediatric Allergies Support Services
Many resources are available online regarding how to help children manage their allergies, as well as identify allergies in your children. Visit the websites below to learn more about pediatric allergies and speak to your pediatrician if you suspect your child has allergies.
A Sampling of Pediatric Allergies Support Services
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
The AAP offers tips to parents on when to suspect allergies in children, and information on the different management strategies to reduce allergy symptoms.
Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America
Explore the allergy testing options for children on this website and learn how allergies affect children.
American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology
The physicians with the AAAAI explain techniques and tips for preventing children from getting allergies. Genetic factors play into the development of allergies, however, so it may be impossible to prevent them completely.