Should I have my 2 year old tested for allergies? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 08-17-2005, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS was in the hospital with a severe asthma attack a few months ago. His first one and so far, definitely the most severe. He has had some wheezing since then but it's been very rare and it goes away with two puffs of the inhalor. He has shown some signs of allergies. We have just given away our cats, because he would always sneeze after playing with them. He had a major reaction to peanut butter and we haven't given it to him since. But so far, that seems to be the only things that we have noticed him to be allergic to.

My question is- the doctor advised that we get him tested for allergies, but I hear that it is very painful and not very accurate. Is it worth it to do it now, or should I wait until he is a little older? Or should I look into other ways of testing?

This is my first time looking at this board- I am totally impressed with the experiences and support of the mothers here! Thanks for taking the time to tutor me on this! I feel so lost on this subject...

Mama to J and E .
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#2 of 8 Old 08-17-2005, 09:25 PM
 
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We had our ( now 13) yr old tested 2 ago. He had migrains that lasted for weeks -he missed an entire month of school in the 5th grade. I switched peds and he suggested a specific allergist that was good with kids and we found out Logan was allergic to everything that was tested for except 2 things cats & dustmites. What they did for him was put drops of liquid on his arms then the did a scratch on the liquid he was almost 12 and said it wasnt bad. I know it would be different with a small child but from another kids point of view it didnt "hurt" he said it was felt like getting his arm scratched from the bushes outside. Logan gets allergy shots weekly and in the past year he has had NO headaches. It was well worth the discomfort. We were able to get rid of some of the things such as him sleeping with our dog a down comforter ( feather allergy) put him on allegra for grasses and weeds. For us it was a place to start. I would ask if there is an allergist in your area that specializes in children or is good with small kids and AT LEAST have a consult.

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#3 of 8 Old 08-17-2005, 09:26 PM
 
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IME, it's not very painful, but it can be a little scary. My ds1 had it done when he was 4.5 and he cried the time they poked him. But afterwards he said it didn't hurt much, he just thought they were going to give him a shot. Poor kid!

I personally would have my child tested. I'm having my ds2 tested as soon as he turns 2. He doesn't show any signs of allergies, but we have a lot of severe allergies that run in my family, so I just want to be sure.
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#4 of 8 Old 08-17-2005, 09:39 PM
 
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Skin testing can give a lot of false positives (also known as SPT or skin prick testing), but blood testing (the CAP RAST test) is the "gold standard" and is less painful (obviously the blood draw is painful, but much shorter duration than skin tesing).

The CAP RAST (a blood draw) also doesn't involve inserting the actual allergen *into* your child, which can be dangerous, especially in the case of things that someone might have an anaphylactic reaction to (like nuts/peanuts/shellfish etc.)

And the "rule" to remember is "reactions trump tests". There may be cases where your kid reacts to something but does test positive for it (this may be b/c it is an IgG intolerance (i.e. a GI reaction for example).

Our son was tested at 13 months with the CAP RAST and since all his allergies were IgG (vs. IgE) we never pursued further testing. Thank goodness he has since outgrown everything!

C

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"When you teach your son, you teach your son's son." ~ The Talmud
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#5 of 8 Old 08-18-2005, 02:49 PM
 
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I ditto the response on the CAP RAST test. You may want to think about getting a prescription for an epi pen jr. Peanut allergies are different than other allergies. A reaction to peanut can be mild with one reaction and anaphylactic with the next reaction. Finding a support group for parents of food allergic children can be very helpful. I have learned more about allergies from other Parents than any doctors. Also, check out FAAN and www.POFAK.com
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#6 of 8 Old 08-18-2005, 03:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by circlemama
I ditto the response on the CAP RAST test. You may want to think about getting a prescription for an epi pen jr. Peanut allergies are different than other allergies. A reaction to peanut can be mild with one reaction and anaphylactic with the next reaction. Finding a support group for parents of food allergic children can be very helpful. I have learned more about allergies from other Parents than any doctors. Also, check out FAAN and www.POFAK.com
:

Peanut allergy is not something to take lightly. Even if the history is just a slight reaction, there is always the chance of anaphylaxis (sp?). My son had a reaction to a peanut butter cracker at 11 months (given to him at daycare). We have since carried an epi pen every where we go. It's been 2 1/2 years since then, and we've only had one other reaction, but the epi-pen was necessary in that reaction, and we were thankful we had it.
Our allergist does not recommend skin prick testing for PA, and will only do the CAP RAST for it. We had DS tested in March when he turned 3, and his numbers were very low so we are hopefull that he is outgrowing, but will wait another year and have him tested again when he's 4.

Good luck.

Oh, and I also recommend POFAK, but I think their website changed to kidswithfoodallergies.org. They are a wealth of information.
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#7 of 8 Old 08-19-2005, 07:12 PM
 
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: And here is the new link to POFAK http://kidswithfoodallergies.org/groupee/forums
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#8 of 8 Old 08-20-2005, 12:02 AM
 
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I had my then 17-month-old daughter tested with the skin-scratch test, and she barely noticed the scratches. The nurse had given her a box of stickers to sort through, so she was distracted, but she definitely was not upset at all. We did learn some valuable information - positive for dairy allergy, even though the blood allergy test had come back negative on it - and that was probably her worst one. She's also allergic/sensitive to soy and wheat, which came back negative on the skin test, but to which she reacts, so you really do have to follow your instincts, keep a food journal for a while, and pay attention to symptoms.

Hope that helps!
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