Healthy Kids    

Ahh-CHOO! Early signs of food allergies

Know when it's best to test.

Allergies are one of the scariest parts of raising kids. Who knows what your kids are allergic to, and how violently they will react? We found that detecting some early symptoms can save you and your child from some pain and suffering.

Be quick to respond

When your child has an allergic reaction, you should see skin symptoms quickly. They can get eczema and other skin symptoms, such as flaking skin and hives. Other symptoms might include nausea, sneezing, and light headedness. If you notice any of this, you need to respond right away! If you don’t there could be more severe reactions. Anaphylaxis might occur, which could result in throat swelling and low blood pressure among the other symptoms. If not treated promptly, it could be fatal.

Which test for my circumstance?
Most parents don’t want to wait for an incident to occur to know whether or not a child should be tested. Some health insurance policies won’t cover the tests unless your child has had an allergic reaction, but on the other hand it might be worth pursuing before your child ends up in the hospital. There are two tests that can be done to determine allergies and you and your pediatrician should discuss which tests should be used in your child’s specific case.

READ MORE: Don't let food allergies spoil the holiday fun!

Skin test

This test involves placing a small drop of the suspected allergen on the skin and then pricking the skin with a needle to expose it to your body. This test should be used to determine minor to moderate allergies, and if you want results back from the test as quickly as possible.

Blood test

A blood test is less invasive, and more suitable than the skin test if your child has a severe allergic reaction. Results take more time, but it might be worth it not to expose your child directly to an allergen.

Discuss with a pediatrician and allergist what the best course of action should be. Seeing the early signs of symptoms might be the first step in treating your child for allergies, yet on the other hand it you might  not want to wait for sickness to occur. What do YOU think is best? Wait or not to wait?