Information On Allergy Testing In Babies

Submitted by Medical Health Test Team on November 12, 2012

Just like adults, your baby may be allergic to some common foods like milk, soy, peanuts, eggs, wheat or fish. They may also be susceptible to common allergens like mold, dust mites, dander, weeds, grasses or pollen. Sometimes certain insect bites or even medication may trigger an allergy.

Just like adults, babies can be tested for any allergies. But most doctors usually advise allergy tests only if the reaction is very severe or life threatening. They feel that a better way would be to observe the baby and find out what is causing the allergy. This is because a baby’s exposure to the outside world is more limited, and allergen triggers are easier to identify. For example, in newborn babies who have not yet started on solid food, it would be easy to identify a food allergy as being caused by milk or soy. This could then be eliminated by changing the formula. One should also be careful that if your baby is allergic to milk, it would be also advisable to avoid foods which have lactalbumin, casein, whey and nougat.

If your baby is having a mild allergic reaction like a rash, runny nose or diarrhea, you may prefer to delay an allergy test. But if it is a life threatening anaphylactic reaction, finding the cause of the allergy is of prime importance.

Types of Allergy Tests

Keep in mind that it is advisable to allergy test babies only if they have moderate to severe symptoms, or if there is a family history of certain severe allergies.

If you have failed to find any possible allergens in your baby’s environment, take him/her to a pediatrician, who may be able to shed some light and be able to diagnose the cause. You will probably be asked questions like ‘when do the allergies appear? Is it immediately after eating a certain food, or after visiting a certain area?’ Otherwise, the doctor may refer you to an immunologist/allergist for testing.

At the lab, your baby may be required to get blood, stool or skin tests to determine the cause of the allergy. While the stool test may not be problematical, your baby may cry during a blood or skin test. The blood test may hurt since the skin will be pricked for drawing blood. The skin test does not usually hurt, but the unfamiliar surroundings and people may upset your baby. It would be better to remain with your baby and comfort her/him.

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