Is Food Allergy Testing the Best Option for My Child?
Food allergy testing is the first step in developing an effective allergy treatment plan. Until your allergist has determined the allergen responsible for a reaction, your child’s health could be at risk. However, it is natural for Atlanta parents to have concerns about the safety of allergy testing. These are the important facts you should know about food allergy testing.
How Safe Is Food Allergy Testing for Children?
The food allergy testing procedure is safe for kids of all ages. It is normal, however, for children and their parents to have some concerns. Understanding how the process usually works is the best way to alleviate those fears and prepare for the test.
The process begins with your allergist looking into your child’s medical history. The allergist will want to know when allergic reactions occurred and what symptoms were experienced. Having analyzed any pertinent medical information, your allergist may recommend food allergy testing to identify the best treatment.
What Are the Types of Food Allergy Testing Available for Children?
Skin Prick Test
Skin prick tests are a common way to test multiple allergens and receive fast results. Allergens are placed on the skin, and the top layer of skin is then pricked. If your child has an allergy, a red bump will appear. Skin prick testing is safe for children, but an allergist may take an alternative approach if there are concerns about anaphylaxis.
Blood tests involve sending a sample of blood to a specialized laboratory for analysis. While this process takes longer to receive results, it’s an option if a skin prick test has proven to be inconclusive. Blood tests require careful analysis by a trained professional, and are a safe way to identify a food allergy.
Oral Food Challenge Test
An oral food challenge test requires the child to consume small amounts of the suspected allergen. To ensure safety, this type of test is completed under close medical supervision. A minor allergic reaction would indicate a food allergy, while no response to eating a significant amount of the food can rule it out.
How Do I Find the Right Food Allergy Treatment for My Child?
For many people, avoidance is the most common approach to dealing with a food allergy. In effect, removing the food from your child’s diet will reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. (Carrying an epinephrine auto-injector is a safety measure when a severe reaction is a possibility.) An alternative approach used for peanut allergy treatment and other foods is oral immunotherapy. This method desensitizes the immune system through periodical consumption of the allergen, and has been shown to be a safe treatment for children.
Get Access to Safe and Reliable Food Allergy Testing
Are you concerned about your child’s food allergy? Chacko Food Allergy Treatment Center provides food allergy testing, diagnosis and treatment services from our centers in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth and Johns Creek. Call (678) 668-4688 or request an appointment online.
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