How To Test Infants For
Children of all ages are susceptible to
allergies. Infants as young as four months old can show symptoms of reaction
to airborne or contact triggers, specific foods or certain medications. Food
allergies are among the most frequent form in infants and young children and
reactions to these substances can be quite severe.
If you suspect that your infant is suffering from an allergy, you should
consult with your pediatrician as soon as possible. There are a several
kinds of tests that can be run on infants to determine specific triggers. By
isolating the particular trigger, it can then be easier to treat reaction or
prevent it entirely by avoiding the trigger itself.
For the most part, testing in infants is the same as it is for older
children and adults. Depending on the type of allergy that is suspected,
your doctor can use either a skin test, blood test or other testing method
to determine the trigger. When performed by trained personnel, testing is
quite safe and it is the first step toward effective treatment.
Contact or airborne triggers can be isolated using either a skin prick test,
patch test or blood test. In prick and patch tests, a small amount of the
suspected trigger is applied directly to the skin and then the doctor waits
to see if a reaction occurs. Prick tests will produce a rapid reaction,
within 15 minutes or so. Patch tests will require about 48 hours to produce
results. In both cases, individual triggers can be isolated and identified.
Blood tests, also known as a Radio Allergo Sorbent Test (or RAST), are used
to measure the level of Immunoglobulin E in the body. Individuals who are
allergic reactive will have higher levels of IgE in their bodies. This type
of test can isolate up to 400 different individual triggers and can be used
for respiratory, food, seafood and nut allergies.
Other testing methods for infants include provocation testing and food
challenge. In both cases, the patient will be directly exposed to a
suspected trigger and then carefully monitored for any response. As these
responses can sometimes be severe, this type of testing can only be
performed under highly structured circumstances with medical personnel
present at all times.
Any of these tests can produce positive results in even the youngest of
infants, so it is never too early to test your child if you suspect a
possible problem. Since food allergies are the most common type among
children and they can have the most severe, even deadly, reactions, it is
crucial that you determine the existence of this type of problem as quickly
If you are worried about your infant’s health and the possible existence of
allergies, talk to your pediatrician today about which form of testing would
be best. Together, you can determine exactly what is affecting your child
and work to help prevent and even completely eliminate serious reactions so
that he can grow up happy and healthy.
Wishing you the best of health
The Allergy Store