Angie's LIST Guide to
Pediatric allergy and immunology

A pediatrician specializing in allergy and immunology cares for children from birth through their teens who have all kinds of allergic reactions. This specialty covers a range of physical reactions due to allergies.
 

pediatrics.jpg

Children often are diagnosed with illnesses and conditions that affect adults, but because of their special needs, they are often referred to pediatric specialists. Specialists in all areas can provide treatment plans to improve health and quality of life.
Children often are diagnosed with illnesses and conditions that affect adults, but because of their special needs, they are often referred to pediatric specialists. Specialists in all areas can provide treatment plans to improve health and quality of life.
 
 

Comprehensive care for your child's allergy

Pediatric allergy and immunology specialists are experts at working with kids who suffer from allergies. They not only find the source of the problem but do so in a way that puts your child at ease during the examinations. A child suffering from allergies is often miserable enough as it is and probably tired of the symptoms and the fear that can accompany a serious allergy.

These specialists are trained in the latest diagnostic and treatment tools to effectively care for their young patients. Promising new therapies and safe tools for infants are also a part of this focused specialty.

The allergist will test your child to find the irritant or other underlying cause of the condition. Once the doctor identifies the problem, he or she can set up a treatment regimen to help restore comfort to the child.

Allergies can affect a child's life in many ways. In addition to the physical symptoms that may have brought your child to the doctor in the first place, children with allergies may have psychological problems, problems sleeping and conflicts with peers.

Allergists can help families learn the ins and outs of a child's allergy, which can include teaching the family how to react quickly and effectively if their child accidentally comes in contact with, or ingests, an allergen. The doctor can also help parents learn how to read food labels and prepare meals to avoid triggering their child's food allergies.

Involvement may also include inquiries about the child's home and sleeping arrangements so that the physician can offer suggestions to reduce dust mites or pet dander, which both can potentially cause allergic reactions.

What pediatric allergists treat

Pediatric allergists and immunologists common treat problems in children such as hay fever, asthma, hives, recurring thrush and eczema.

These doctors search for the irritant that triggers the physical reactions and manage the symptoms. Irritants that can create problems include air-borne particles as well as insect stings and food allergies that can cause severe reactions, including anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that causes severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing.

If you suspect a problem with a particular substance, start recording everything your child eats and any reactions. This history can help the specialist diagnose and treat your child more effectively.

Allergy testing procedures

Allergy tests help find the substances that cause allergic reactions. The wide variety of allergy tests includes skin tests, elimination-type tests and blood tests.

Skin testing is the most common of the three and specifically identifies food allergies, causes of asthma, penicillin allergy or allergic contact dermatitis. An allergist can conduct a skin test using a few different methods. One way is a prick test where a doctor places a small amount of the suspected allergen on the skin and then pricks the skin so the substance goes slightly under the surface. Alternatively, the doctor can inject a small amount into the skin or use the patch method to diagnose allergic reactions by taping allergens to the surface of the skin.

The elimination method checks for food allergies. The potential problem foods are eliminated from the diet for several weeks and then slowly reintroduced one at a time. The person, or family in the case of a young child, carefully watches for signs of an allergic reaction throughout the process.

Finally, the allergist can use blood tests to measure the antibodies for a specific allergen in the blood. Known as the radioallergosorbent (RAST) test, this method is used when skin testing isn't a good match for the child.

 

 

Add comment

Anonymous reviews are Internet graffiti.  Angie's List has real reviews from real people.

What is Angie's List?

Angie’s List is the trusted site where more than 2 million households go to get ratings and reviews on everything from home repair to health care. Stop guessing when it comes to hiring! Check Angie’s List to find out who does the best work in town.

Local Discounts

Daily deals up to 70% off popular home improvement projects from top-rated contractors on Angie’s List!