If your child is suffering from allergies, particularly those where you are unsure as to the root cause, then it is likely that they will need to undergo an allergy skin test. On this page, we are going to discuss a little bit about how you can prepare your child for an allergy skin test.
Do not worry your child
Honestly, this is one of the most important points in this guide. Children do not like needles. That is a fact. If they are going to undergo an allergy skin test, then they will have to be pricked with a needle. The brilliant thing is that it doesn’t actually hurt. The needles are tiny. Your child will not feel a thing. The only way in which they are going to end ‘feeling’ something is if you tell them that it is going to hurt. Don’t do this. Do not cause them to be more anxious then they already are.
There are two types of skin test
This is not something you are going to need to concern yourself with all that much. All you need to know, for educational purposes, is that there are two different types of skin test that your child may need to undergo:
Percutaneous skin test: this skin test involves allergens to be applied to the top layer of the skin. This will involve nothing more than a scratch or a small prick.
Intradermal skin test: a needle will be used to inject the allergens into the body.
Your doctor should inform you in advance which test will be used. The type of test will be determine by what is believed to be the cause of your child’s allergies.
A week before the test
About a week before the test, you will be asked to stop giving your child any antihistamines. If you continue to give them to your child, it is likely that the test will not be successful. Your doctor should be able to provide you with some helpful advice which will ensure that the allergens do not cause any problems during the week that your child is not taking any medication.
The day of the test
It is important to stay calm on the day of your child’s test. Hopefully, your child’s doctor will be a paediatrician who is administering the test. They will know how to ensure that your child is ok with the process. They will normally have a few distractions on hand to help your child. If your child has a favourite toy, then make sure you bring it along with you. You should provide your child with comfort every step of the way.
After the test
If any allergic reaction occurs during the test, the nurse or doctor will provide your child with medication right away. It may, however, be slightly inflamed for a while. It is important that you take on board all of the information that the doctor gives you. Hopefully this will make it a touch easier to avoid particular allergens in the future.