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When can I have my daughter tested for food allergies?

I know that my daughter has food allergies. We have had an incident where her face was completly swollen in the middle of dinner, but my Doctor refuses to test her for allergies. Now people are suggesting that the HORRIBLE diaper rash that she is batteling may be due to food allergies as well.

How olddoes my daughter have to be to be tested so that I can figure out what she needs to stay away from?

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Asked by SnuggyBaby at 1:12 PM on Oct. 27, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (7)
  • they dont like to test until 5. lots of kids grow out of allergies before then. also, drawing the amount of blood needed is much harder than just a finger prick. i would try to talk with your doctor or find a doctor that will help you a little more. her face swelling sounds like a more serious allergy, you really need advice from a doctor. with that said... try the elimination diet. basically you cut out suspected foods completely. then after two or more weeks give them the suspected food. pay close attention to your childs symptoms throughout the whole process. i would be very careful with whatever caused her face to swell. hopefully you already know that one and can just leave it out. if not i would talk to a dr first. common food allergies are dairy, soy, wheat, nuts, berries. good luck!


    Answer by bettylou420 at 1:53 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • Bettylou - that's not accurate. Allergists will test younger children with evidence of allergies. My daughter was first tested for allergies at 23 months old when she reacted to peanut butter. She was tested again at 3 years old for tree nuts and at 4 for shellfish. She had one blood test done at 2 yrs old - It wasn't fun, but it was no different than the draw for the state required lead level testing we took the year prior. Each year she was tested she had skin tests - a small scratch on the back. Neither was "easy" - skin tests can be uncomfortable to mildly painful when there's a reaction.

    OP - find yourself a pediatric allergist that has experience with food allergies. Keep a food diary. Tract what you feed your child and your daughter's health. Yes, severe diaper rash CAN be a sign of an allergic reaction in young children. It doesn't mean it *is* but it can be. Watch for patterns (continued in next box)

    Answer by ldmrmom at 3:04 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • (cont) If you see a pattern (ie bad diaper rash after eating milk products) not it. Consider removing the offending item (with input for your Ped too) until you can see the allergist.

    There are 8 major allergens responsible for the vast majority of food allergies: peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk, egg, wheat, shellfish and finned fish. If there is a suspected allergy, this is often a good place to start. *SOME* allergies are outgrown. The average milk allergic child, for example has an 80% chance of outgrowing an infant milk allergy. However, not all WILL outgrow an allergy and *some* allergens have much lower rates of outgrowth. Only 20% of peanut and tree nut allergic children will out grow their allergies.

    for more info on allergies, check out FAAN's web site: FAAN is the leading nonprofit for research, advocacy and education on food allergies. feel free to PM me too if you want.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 3:09 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • My daughter is only 10 months old, but I agree the blood draw can't be any worse than the one that my older DD did for her lead test and if it would save her fromhaving to dealwith potential allergic reactions because I know exactly what to avoid it would be amazing. I just can't understand why my refuses to run the test. Then again, my doctor refuses to EVER treat my kids, but that is a whole other soap box.

    I haven't let her haveanything that she was eating in the meal that she had the reaction to, but I don't know if it was eggs, cheese, or okra. The rash has been going on for about a month now, I don't think that I have added anything new to her diet in that time, so I wouldn't even know where to begin with an elimination diet.

    Answer by SnuggyBaby at 6:21 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • Is this your pediatrician refusing? When my DD first reacted to peanut butter, we saw our pedi. Her first reaction was delayed. Her second was immediate. She was at her doctor's within the hour of vomiting profusely and developing hives. He diagnosed the allergy but wouldn't run the test himself. He referred us to a pediatric allergist. Do you need a referral for a specialist or can you just go? I'd seek out an allergist directly for something like this if at all possible. They know what to look for and are more willing to test or seek alternative diagnostic tools than generalist.

    As for the foods - look at the labels of the other stuff she's eating. Egg and milk (the cheese) are often ingredients and sometimes in foods you don't think to look for them in. Perhaps she's allergic to one or the other and is being exposed in small amounts through those other foods? Allergies can be like a treasure hunt with a rotten prize. :(

    Answer by ldmrmom at 10:15 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • I've heard from a few doctors that aren't too kean on testing for allergies. It's rather painful for the little ones and many times not needed. You can try by process of elimination, ie "the elimination diet" as suggested before. Rashes can also be from laundry detergent, soaps, perfumes, fabric dyes, and pet exposure. The face swelling would scare me too. What was that meal? Any of the common allergens in that meal. Keeping a food diary is a great idea! Maybe then you can make a connection. Be patient, it may take a long time. But, if it makes you feel better, a great deal of those allergies are outgrown.

    Answer by DaLeetrinketry at 10:34 PM on Oct. 29, 2009

  • My frustration with the elimination diet concept is that it forces me to continue to expose her to things that will cause a reaction. I agree that getting a blood draw is not fun, but if they are willing to do it for a lead test, then it seems like they should be willing to do it after we have already had several reactions and the reactions don't really make sense.

    The first time she was eating cheesey hotdogs (she has had cheese before) and fried okra. Maybe it was the okra, but there was also egg for the breading we now avoid okra, egg, and dairy. This time she ate 2 potato chips. They did have parnmesean cheese on them, but again she has had this before in a lot larger quantities than on the 2 chips. The chips were cooked in sunflower oil, not peanut. I don't know what is causing it.

    She also gets an awful diaper rash. I am guessing bananas??? so we are trying to eleminate them and see if it helps

    Answer by SnuggyBaby at 3:54 PM on Oct. 30, 2009

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