Childhood Allergy Testing

doctor using a needle to do an allergy test on a child

The Basics of Allergy Testing for Children

Allergy testing in recent years has been growing in popularity and understandably so. Many families want their children tested for allergies after experiencing an allergic reaction to confirm the suspected allergen, some want testing done to prevent exposure to a common allergen known in family history.

To first understand allergy testing, it is important to understand what causes an allergic response. In our bodies, we make several types of immunoglobulins that all play specific roles in our immunity. Allergic responses are mediated by immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies that our bodies have made specific to certain allergens.

Therefore, allergy testing detects the IgE antibodies in our body through skin testing or blood/serum testing.

Discover food sensitivity and environmental allergens that may be contributing to your child’s daily allergy symptoms. With a state-of-art testing kit, at Little Roots, we are able to test your child for food sensitivity to over 96 common food allergens and obtain comprehensive allergy testing for indoor and outdoor allergens.

Skin Prick Test (SPT) for Allergens

This measures the wheal-and-flare response on the skin when different allergens are introduced in direct contact with the surface of the skin. The response can be measured in 10 to 20 minutes. For accurate results, patients need to withhold medications with antihistamine properties prior to testing.¨

Serum sIgE test (allergen-specific)

Commonly known as a blood test for allergies, assesses the amount of allergen-specific IgE antibodies in per volume unit of serum.

Both types of tests are comparatively similar in sensitivity and diagnostic properties. Having a positive serum sIgE or skin tests signifies a sensitized state, but it is not sufficient for clinical diagnosis. Studies have shown that many children, in fact, with positive tests have no clinical illness when exposed to the allergen. Therefore it is not recommended to test for an allergen that is already tolerated, and all testing should be done with consideration of the child’s history and geographic relevance.

Dr. Eileen Shi

Board-Certified Las Vegas Pediatrician

Your pediatrician should always be your child’s advocate and believe your child always comes first. Little Roots Pediatrics families on their wellness journey with Concierge Pediatric care. We integrate evidence-based care with holistic health principles to provide the most up-to-date, direct-access pediatric care.