At what age can my child get tested for allergies?

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“At what age can my child get tested for allergies?” This is a question I often get asked by parents of young children.  Many parents and some healthcare providers believe that allergy testing cannot be done until 3 years of age. This is not true. This belief comes from the fact that most children begin developing seasonal allergies around age 3. However, many children have already developed allergies to other things (ie. indoor allergens and/or foods) by then.

Allergy skin testing is a technique that can detect allergic antibodies present in the blood by placing a small amount of the allergen on the skin and monitoring the response. Allergic antibodies can develop at any age. So if symptoms are consistent with an allergic process, allergy testing can be done. Although I prefer to wait to do a skin test around 1 year of age, many infants particularly those with severe eczema or a possible food allergy need to have some form of allergy testing done much earlier-and it can be done!

Many parents (myself included!) have found it very helpful to know what specifically their child is allergic to, even if they aren’t ready to start on allergy shots.  This information can help clarify what time of year it is critical to give allergy medications daily, and when they may used on an as needed basis. Also, if a child is allergic to indoor allergens (ie. dust mite or dog) we can work on ways to decrease exposure to those allergens, thereby decreasing symptoms, which may then decrease the need for allergy medications- which is always desirable, especially for little ones!

-Dr. Megan

 

12 Comments

  1. I did not know that children could be tested for allergies by the age of one. Like you said allergies are things that you are born with and they should be found out as soon as possible to be able to keep your children out of danger. I have also heard that there are treatments that can help people overcome their allergies so I would like to know if my children are allergic to anything to be able to get them over their allergies.

  2. My son, 4 years old as of May, has been on Zyrtec, Cingular and Flonase for 2 years. He had tubes placed in his ears December 2016, Tonsils and Adnoids removed March 7th. He is on his 4th round of Augmentin this year due to sinus infection. They refuse to test him until he is 5. All of this medication can’t be good for him. Any recommendations?

  3. How old do a child have to be to get test for allergy because I have a 2 1/2 years old boy and i will let to know if he have allergy or not because I know he break out when he walk by apples and touch apples to

  4. Thanks for mentioning that kids younger than three can develop allergies to foods. I heard that they don’t until they’re older than three, but I was confused because my two-year-old cries and feels sick after he eats strawberries. I should take him to an immunology clinic and have them test him for a strawberry allergy, and then I’ll know once and for all.

  5. My son is 11 months and I feel like he’s allergic to an animal in my house. I have 3 cats and a dog. when can he get tested for his allergies?

  6. I have a two year old son.. that when we are out side for a bout 15 minutes he breaks out in hives and hes in his strollers hes not near anything.. been to the hospital a couple of time and all they keep telling me is that it’s a virus in his body that hes allergic to or it could be the 5th diease that is going around all the schools and day care.. but he isn’t in daycare its frustrating

  7. We are not sure if our son has allergies or not but he keeps getting rashes and redness over a lot of his body he is 15 months old is he to young to be allergy tested we are not real sure what is causing it

    • He is not too young to be allergy tested. It might be helpful to keep a diary of any exposures, such as foods or other contacts, such as animals or pollen ect. Sometimes this can help clarify a potential allergy, which can help direct testing.

  8. Wow, I didn’t realize that you can do allergy skin tests for children as early as the age of one! My baby daughter has been sneezing abnormally these past few days, so I wonder if she might have an allergy I need to be aware of. I’ll be sure to speak with a doctor about the possibility of getting her an allergy skin test with her being so young.

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