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The Importance of Allergy Testing for Children: What You Need to Know

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Allergies are frequent in babies and kids, with allergy-related issues ranking among the most common chronic conditions diagnosed in children. When your child shows allergy symptoms, it can be stressful for both of you to figure out what’s causing them and find the appropriate way to prevent and treat them. But the sooner you know the trigger, the sooner your child can go back to having a normal life. Keep reading to know all about allergy testing and why your child needs it.

Understanding Allergies in Children

Allergies are reactions of the body’s defence system to harmless things called allergens. This reaction can lead to symptoms that range from a bit annoying to serious or even life-threatening. Allergies can run in families but not necessarily are they predictable. Sometimes kids can have allergies even if no one else in the family does and some kids might even be allergic to more than one thing. It’s more about the chance of developing them.

In children, allergies can show up in different ways. They might get red, itchy skin rashes or hives, which is called atopic dermatitis or eczema. Sometimes, allergies can upset their stomachs. More commonly, kids with allergies have trouble breathing causing asthma, while others might sneeze a lot, and have a runny nose, cough, or itchy eyes; a condition known as allergic rhinitis. In India, a study found that about 11.3% of kids who were 6 to 7 years old had allergic rhinitis. In older kids, aged 13 to 14 years, it was even higher, about 24.4%.

If you notice any of the allergy symptoms in your child, it’s crucial to have them tested for their triggers as soon as possible.

Benefits of Allergy Testing

Allergy detection offers numerous advantages for children and their families. Knowing what your child is allergic to means you can do something about it right away. You can take steps to limit exposure to their allergy triggers and make sure your child doesn’t get frequent allergic episodes. For instance, if your child has asthma, allergy tests can reveal if things like dust or pet fur make it worse. Knowing what causes allergic reactions helps families decide how to make their homes safer for their children. Also, getting help early can prevent major complications like severe asthma or anaphylaxis from occurring and keeps your child healthier. It also helps saves money on the hospital visits and medicines in the future, making things better for everyone. Moreover, early allergy testing helps calm worries for both kids and families. It helps you relieve the added stress of constant vigilance of triggers as you know what to avoid to keep your child feeling better.

Exploring Allergy Testing

Babies and kids often show signs that might be allergies, like runny noses, breathlessness or rashes. These tests are especially helpful if your child often deals with stuffy noses, asthma, food reactions, skin rashes, and persistent cold-like symptoms that come back at the same time every year. If you’re wondering how to get started with testing your kid for allergies, consult a professional. For diagnosis, the allergist will ask about your child’s medical history, do a physical check-up, suggest the best way to find out if your child has allergies and its triggers. Then, they’ll advise on the management options which include avoiding triggers, taking medicine, changing diet, or getting allergy shots.

Allergy tests detect susceptibility to various triggers including common food allergens like peanuts, eggs, wheat, shellfish, milk or environmental allergens like plant pollens, moulds, dust mites, animal dander, insect stings, and also some medicines like penicillin. Depending on how they are done, several types of allergy tests are available. These are:

  • Skin Tests: Immediate and delayed hypersensitivity skin tests, including prick and intradermal tests, help find out if your child has allergies to things like dust, food, insect stings, or penicillin. The prick test is safe and accurate, while the intradermal test is more sensitive. Doctors wait for reactions, like a raised bump, for about 15 minutes after the test.
  • Patch tests are used to find out if your child has allergic contact dermatitis from things like rubber or fragrances. They wear patches containing suspected allergens for 48 hours, and the doctor checks their skin for reactions when we take the patches off.
  • Blood tests are used to detect allergy-related antibodies (IgE) in your blood. These are done when skin tests aren’t possible. For example, if a child can’t stop taking medicine that might affect the results of the skin test or if the child seems uncooperative for skin tests, doctors might suggest a blood test instead.
  • Elimination diet tests are used to check for food allergies. They involve removing certain foods from your child’s diet for a week to see if their symptoms improve. However, it can be tricky because some foods have hidden allergens. In some cases, doctors might do a food challenge in a safe place to see how your child reacts to certain foods.

You doctor will be able to best suggest the type of allergy test needed and the triggers it checks for based on your child’s history.

Adjusting Your Child’s Lifestyle to Manage Allergies

After you have identified what causes allergies in your child, the next step is managing it. By implementing simple changes in their daily routine and environment, you can help your child lead a healthier and more comfortable life despite their allergies. Based on the type of allergen identified, you can follow the suitable measures for your child to manages their allergies effectively:

  • Make sure to keep your windows closed on high pollen days.
  • Control dust by cleaning regularly and removing allergen sources like carpets, blinds, and down-filled bedding.
  • Wash bedding, curtains, and clothing frequently with hot water.
  • Use air conditioning or air filters to reduce allergens in the house.
  • Install a dehumidifier in damp areas of your home.
  • Use mild and chemical free personal hygiene products and cosmetics.
  • Keep their skin moisturized.
  • Practice post-outdoor hygiene by showering and changing clothes.
  • Modify their diet to exclude food allergens.
  • Consider medications like antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal steroids as advised by your child’s healthcare provider.


Managing your child’s allergies doesn’t have to be overwhelming. But remember, if your child’s allergy symptoms worsen or become severe, it’s crucial to consult a doctor for proper evaluation and treatment to ensure their well-being. Regular allergy testing is essential as it helps identify triggers, enabling effective management and prevention of allergic reactions. By making simple adjustments to their lifestyle and seeking guidance from a healthcare provider, you can help your child stay healthy and comfortable despite their allergies.

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