No one wants to hear that their child is struggling, especially when it comes to something as essential as food. However, there are a lot of babies and children that will develop allergies in their first handful of years. Some of these will be outgrown by the time they reach the age of thirteen, but some will be lifelong allergies. One of the scariest things to deal with as a new parent is to look at an allergy test for a baby, but this is becoming more and more common as allergies, too, get more and more common. Here’s what you need to know about allergy testing and children.
Can you allergy test a baby?
In short, yes, you can allergy test a baby. Allergy testing itself can be done on someone of any age. That being said, it’s often recommended that it be done only when necessary with infants that are under six months.
As you can probably imagine, an infant under 6 months is still working on the important first steps of being alive. If a baby is under 6 months, a skin test will not be conducted. If an allergy test is absolutely necessary due to serious reactions, a blood sample test is often the method chosen by allergists.
At what age is allergy testing done?
As mentioned above, there is no set age for someone to get allergy testing. Allergists, in choosing to recommend an allergy test or not, often will take a look a look at the child, the suspected allergen, and the reaction itself.
Since infants and children are often found to outgrow allergies, a lot of allergists will recommend waiting until late childhood to conduct a test if needed, especially if a parent is relatively certain of the suspected food (and can avoid it).
If a child is having serious allergic reactions that are interfering with their health, school, or social life, or they are reacting to what appears to be a few allergens, an allergy test can be ordered at any age. So, at what age is allergy testing done? At whatever age, it is considered to be necessary for everyone’s safety.
Why is allergy testing so random in kids?
It seems strange that an allergist would tell a parent “wait a few months and see what happens,” but it’s important to remember that infants, toddlers, and children are still adjusting to their own bodies and health conditions. Allergies — similar to asthma — can be outgrown. They can change to different allergens over time, too.
Since conducting an allergy test for a baby or a child can be stressful and scary for a child and parent, an allergist will only do it if there is a serious need for it. While it seems strange to think that it is so dependent on the situation, rest assured that these are professionally trained allergists that will be able to make informed decisions about everyone’s case specifically. This is what is considered to be the best way to make sure that everyone says healthy and happy.