When your child is suffering from itchy, swollen eyes, stuffy nose, sneezing and wheezing after spending time at Minto Brown Island Park, you’ll do just about anything for them to find relief. However, you want to make sure that whatever allergy management option you choose is safe. If your child’s allergist has recommended allergy shots, you may have some questions. We review common questions about allergy shots for children, including how safe they are, below.
What Allergy Shots Can Treat
Many people believe that allergy shots only treat hay fever (allergic rhinitis). However, they can also be used to treat eye allergies (conjunctivitis), allergic asthma and eczema (atopic dermatitis) in children. Allergy shots can also help prevent the development of asthma in children with allergies.
When a Child Can Get an Allergy Test
Before a child can start allergy shots, they must first get an allergy test. Allergy tests determine exactly what allergens your child is reactive to; this lets the allergist know what extracts to include in the shots.
It’s a common misconception that children have to be a certain age to get an allergy test when, in fact, infants as young as one month old can get allergy tests. If you’re unsure whether your child is ready for an allergy test, consider whether your child’s symptoms are more uncomfortable than an allergy test would be. If so, an allergy test may be necessary.
When a Child Can Start Allergy Shots
Like allergy tests, allergy shots are safe at practically any age. However, there are some considerations for determining when an ideal time for starting allergy shots is. While some children can start allergy shots as young as five or six, others may need to wait until they are 10 to 12.
Consider the following questions to determine if your child is ready for allergy shots:
- Can my child communicate if they’re experiencing symptoms or side effects from the allergy shots?
- Is my child old enough to cooperate with the physician who is administering allergy shots?
- Does my child tolerate regular immunizations well?
If you answered yes to all three questions, your child is likely ready for allergy shots. An allergist can administer a shot containing saline solution to test how well your child reacts before you commit to starting immunotherapy.
How Safe Allergy Shots Are for Children
Allergy shots are shown to be highly safe and effective for children. However, as with any form of medical treatment, there are some risks involved.
The most common side effect of allergy shots is redness and swelling at the injection site. In rare cases, for children with severe allergies, anaphylaxis is possible. However, keep in mind that allergy shots are performed in an allergy clinic with highly-trained staff at the ready to intervene if necessary. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Willamette ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery today.
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