Allergy testing for babies and children
Parenthood is full of surprising twists and turns. Some are more enjoyable than others. Whether you’ve welcomed your first child or recently added to your family, the stress and worry of keeping them safe, happy, and healthy never seem to get easier. While occasional crying is normal, persistent distress can be heart-wrenching, mainly when your little one can’t express what’s bothering them.
Discomfort might be a natural part of their growth. But sometimes, it might be something more. It could be that your child is developing an allergy or an intolerance.
If this is the case, don’t worry; allergies and intolerances are common. 50% of children in the UK have one or more allergies. While it can seem scary, your child can live a perfectly normal and comfortable life with the right methods, prevention, and treatment. We understand parents of children with allergies often report feeling stressed, but we’re here to offer support and guidance to give you peace of mind.
Let’s explore if what your little one is experiencing is a reaction.
Allergy symptoms in babies
Often, allergy symptoms are respiratory and skin-related. If your child is experiencing an allergy, you’ll likely notice:
- a runny or blocked nose
- red, itchy, watery eyes
- wheezing and coughing
- a red, itchy rash
- developing and worsening of asthma or eczema symptoms
Intolerance symptoms in babies
Intolerance symptoms are often more seen in their tummies. If your child is experiencing an intolerance, you’ll likely notice the following:
- stomach rumbling and pains
Most allergies or intolerances are mild, but occasionally, your child might experience a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis. This is likely when your little one is struggling to breathe. If this happens, please call 999. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and requires urgent treatment.
How can we help you with your child’s allergies?
Our in-house paediatric allergy consultant is experienced in helping babies, children, and parents navigate allergies. From testing to recovery, they’ll be with you every step of the way to get your little one feeling back to their usual, happy selves. Allergies in infants can be diagnosed in a few ways. The most common is child-friendly skin prick allergy testing. It’s quick, painless, and effective. The blood allergy test checks 112 common allergenic proteins in one go. When you can understand the cause of your child’s allergies, you can explore the best treatment and management options moving forward.
What could the problem be?
There are several different types of allergies your infant might be experiencing.
Skin conditions in babies
With some allergies, symptoms appear on the skin in rashes, hives, and other signs such as eczema. Atopic (Allergic) eczema is extremely common in children. About 20% of children suffer from eczema at some point in their lives, with eczema in babies developing between the ages of two and five months. The symptoms are easy to spot: patches of red, dry, and itchy skin on the face, behind the ears, elbows, knees, and neck. When we can diagnose eczema, we can identify probable triggers and work with you to make your baby’s skin clean and itch-free. About 50% of children with eczema in the first few months of life develop another allergy by age 2, so it’s essential to understand what does and doesn’t affect your child. Infants and young children with moderate to severe atopic eczema may also develop a food allergy.
Food allergies in children
On average, one in seven children has a food allergy. If you think about your wider family, nieces, nephews, and then school friends, it is expected that a few of them are likely to have a food allergy. If that’s your child, that’s ok. Food allergies can be more severe in toddlers, so it’s worth watching. The common allergies are hen’s egg, cow’s milk, soy, wheat, and peanuts.
Respiratory allergies in infants
Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever) affects up to 40% of children. Hay fever affects explicitly 1 in 4 people. As well as being uncomfortable, most children with allergic rhinitis suffer from sleep challenges. As we know, sleep is critical to their development as well as general health, so getting on top of Allergic Rhinitis is crucial to overall well-being.
Asthma is another factor to consider. Although not an allergy, allergies often trigger asthma, especially in children. Younger asthmatics have an even higher incidence. A child is admitted to the hospital every 20 minutes because of an asthma attack. Something we’d like to help reduce.
Insect and venom allergy in children
Bees, wasps, ants, and other creepy crawlies, while fascinating to our youngest, carry a risk of a reaction. Thankfully, children under twelve have a lower risk than adults of recurring generalised reactions, but staying safe with a test is still a good idea.
How do I get started?
Getting started is easy. Start your journey today by registering as a new patient. We’ll handle the rest for you. Together, we can understand what’s causing your infant discomfort and take positive steps to a better way of life.
Appointments can be booked via Online Appointment System