For adults, allergy testing might not be a big deal. However, children might have a more difficult time with it. If your child is scheduled for allergy testing, here are some ways you can help prepare him or her and things you can do to make the experience easier.
Talk to Your Child
In the week leading up to the testing, you need to talk to your child about the actual procedure. Explain to your child that the doctor needs to perform testing to find out what is making him or her sick.
If your child is undergoing a skin test, he or she might be worried about the idea of being scratched to administer it. To prepare your child for the experience, you can use a plastic toothpick to gently press against his or her skin. Explain to your child that the skin test will not be much more than that.
Hold Your Child During Testing
Regardless of whether or not your child is undergoing a skin or blood test, you can help calm any fears he or she is experiencing during the procedure by holding the child. For an older child, simply hugging him or her during the procedure should be comforting.
Once the test is completed, be prepared to handle a possible reaction from your child to the introduction of the allergen to his or her system. The doctor or nurse will provide your child with treatment for an allergic reaction, but you might have to comfort him or her until the treatment starts to work.
Pack Comforting Items
After the allergy test is administered, you and your child will have to remain in the doctor's office. The doctor needs to monitor your child for a reaction to the allergen. During this time, it is important that you keep your child occupied.
You can take along toys, electronics, and even a snack to give to your child. If you do plan to take a snack along, contact the allergy doctor's office first. You want to check which foods are safe to bring to the office. Remember, other children who are suffering from allergies could be present and you do not want to expose them to allergens.
Allergy testing is safe for your child, and it is necessary in identifying allergens. If you have any other concerns, talk to your child's doctor before testing to find out what else you can do to soothe your child during the procedure. You may want to consider contacting an allergy testing specialist, such as Allergy Asthma & Immunology Center, for more information.