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How can i understand what allergies my child has?

10 doctor answers32 doctors weighed in
Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky
Pediatrics 35 years experience
Good question...: Skin rashes are usually food or contact allergy, cough and nasal allergies are usually to airborne allergens (dust, pollen, animal dander). For food allergy, observe what seems to make it worse -- food diary is a useful tool. For airborne, the rule of thumb is, tree pollen in the spring, grass pollen in the summer, weed pollen in the fall, dust and animal dander year round but worse in winter.
Dr. Michael P Vaughn
Allergy and Immunology 34 years experience
See a specialist trained in performing skin testing (Allergist), or ask your PCP to order blood testing (RAST) to accurately determine if allergic antibodies (IgE) are the cause of the symptoms.
Aug 30, 2013
Dr. James Sublett
Internal Medicine 46 years experience
The history is very important and may give hints. If symptoms are skin or g.i. It could be foods ( incidence about 5%). If ears, eyes, nose, throat, lungs likely airbourne (mite, furry animals, cockroach, pollens, mold). Skin testing under the direction of a board-certified allergist can determine the allergens . Treatment: targeted avoidance to identified allergens, meds, immunotherapy.
Sep 10, 2013
Dr. Anne Maitland
Allergy and Immunology 24 years experience
Depending on the symptoms: allergies usually cause problems with the 3 organs systems exposed to the environment: skin, gut, nose/sinus/lungs. If there is eczema or hives; failure to gain appropriate weight, e.g.; congestion, post nasal drip, cough, wheeze, that comes and goes-time for allergy testing with a specialist
Sep 16, 2013
Dr. Arthur Torre
Pediatric Allergy and Asthma 51 years experience
Allergy tests: Often doctors can tell what your child is allergic to just by the time of the year there are symptoms. For instance trees cause symptoms in the early spring; grass in later spring; ragweed in fall. Molds, dust mite and animals cause symptoms all year long. Skin testing however is the most accurate way to tell exactly what your child is allergic to. Blood tests are a less accurate alternative.
Dr. Douglas Tzanetos
Allergy and Immunology 19 years experience
Allergy testing: Symptoms with exposure to allergens is the first sign. Patients with allergies usually have symptoms every time they are exposed to the allergen (for example, dust mites, molds, pollens, pet danders for aeroallerens or milk, egg, wheat, soy, peanut, tree nuts, seafood for foods). If you see symptoms that occur with every exposure, then skin or blood tests can help diagnose their allergies.
Dr. Holly Maes
Pediatrics 36 years experience
Observe your child: If your child has symptoms with one specific item, such as a rash when they eat strawberries, this is a good indicator. If the source of symptoms not so obvious, then talk to child's doc about when you notice symptoms - is it indoors or outdoors, during a cetain season or year round, etc. Testing can be done with either skin testing or blood tests, but it helps to narrow possibilities down first.
Dr. Michael Zacharisen
Allergy and Immunology 33 years experience
I agree with Dr. Maes. A careful review of symptoms and timing of symptoms is key to suspecting allergies. Improvement with allergy medication is supportive. Allergy testing can confirm or rule out suspected triggers.
Mar 12, 2013
Dr. Stephen Kimura
Allergy and Immunology 35 years experience
See an allergist.: In order to better understand whether you child even has allergies and how to best manage them, an allergist is your best bet. I would look for an allergist certified by abai or the american board of allergy and immunology. This is the "governing" body which ensures that your allergist is trained properly and maintains the most up to date knowlege.
Dr. Nayla Mumneh
Allergy and Immunology 29 years experience
An allergist: Can provide you with all your answers, depending on your child's symptoms, testing will be performed accordigly.
Dr. Gary Steven
Pediatric Allergy and Asthma 30 years experience
Skin testing: The best way to understand exactly what is causing allergy aymptoms in your child is to have skin testing done by a board-certified allergist. Blood tests such as rast and immunocap are very accurate, but are only positive in highly allergic people - milder sensitivities can be missed by blood tests. Other tests you may see, such as igg tests for food allergies, have not been shown to be reliable.
Dr. Punita Ponda
Allergy and Immunology 21 years experience
Observe your child: Repeated hives, diarrhea, discomfort, etc. After eating, can be from food intolerances or food allergy. Sneezing, runny nose, etc. Could be environmental allergies. Rashes can be associated with contact allergy, or eczema. Allergies to medications are possible also. By observing your child's symptoms or behaviors and discussing these with your doctor, you can see if your child has allergies.
Dr. Michael Palumbo
Allergy and Immunology 23 years experience
Evaluation: Take your child to a board certified allergist/immunologist for evaluation and discussion.
Dr. James Sublett
Internal Medicine 46 years experience
See an allergist. : I would first discuss with your pediatrician to see if the symptoms point to allergies. They may refer you to a board certified allergist.

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