30 doctors weighed in:
How can I understand what allergies my child has?
30 doctors weighed in

12 doctors agree
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Anatoly Belilovsky
Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky
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4 comments
Dr. Michael P Vaughn
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.
Dr. James Sublett
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.
Dr. Michael Palumbo
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
3 doctors agree
In brief: Evaluation
Take your child to a board certified allergist/immunologist for evaluation and discussion.

In brief: Evaluation
Take your child to a board certified allergist/immunologist for evaluation and discussion.
Dr. Michael Palumbo
Dr. Michael Palumbo
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Dr. James Sublett
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
2 doctors agree
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. James Sublett
Dr. James Sublett
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Dr. Holly Maes
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Holly Maes
Dr. Holly Maes
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1 comment
Dr. Michael Zacharisen
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.
Dr. Punita Ponda
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Punita Ponda
Dr. Punita Ponda
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Dr. Gary Steven
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Gary Steven
Dr. Gary Steven
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Dr. Stephen Kimura
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Stephen Kimura
Dr. Stephen Kimura
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Dr. Douglas Tzanetos
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Douglas Tzanetos
Dr. Douglas Tzanetos
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Dr. Nayla Mumneh
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
In brief: An allergist
Can provide you with all your answers, depending on your child's symptoms, testing will be performed accordigly.

In brief: An allergist
Can provide you with all your answers, depending on your child's symptoms, testing will be performed accordigly.
Dr. Nayla Mumneh
Dr. Nayla Mumneh
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Dr. Arthur Torre
Pediatrics - Allergy & Asthma
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Arthur Torre
Dr. Arthur Torre
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