There’s nothing more important for parents than keeping their children safe. If your child’s allergist has recommended allergy shots to treat the symptoms they experience after visiting West Ashley Park, you may be wondering how safe this form of immunotherapy is. Below we review the safety of allergy shots for children.
What Do Allergy Shots Treat?
It’s a common misconception that allergy shots treat only hay fever (allergic rhinitis). In fact, allergy shots can also treat eye allergies (conjunctivitis), allergic asthma and eczema (atopic dermatitis) in children. They can also help prevent the development of asthma in children who have allergies.
When Should a Child Get an Allergy Test?
Before undergoing allergy shots, your child must first get an allergy test. This will reveal what exactly your child is allergic to. Though many parents believe a child has to be older to receive an allergy test, this is not true. Even infants as young as one month old can get an allergy test.
We recommend having your child get an allergy test when the discomfort of their symptoms is greater than the discomfort of the procedure. This timeframe is different for every child; your pediatrician or allergist can help you determine when the best time is.
When Should a Child Start Allergy Shots?
When to start allergy shots also changes depending on the child. While allergy shots are safe even for young children, it’s important that your child is old enough to communicate when they’re experiencing symptoms or side effects from the shot and to be able to cooperate with getting the shots. For most children, this is around age five or six, though some children may need to wait until they are eight to twelve.
How to Tell if Your Child Is Mature Enough for Allergy Shots?
Ask yourself how your child does during allergy testing and routine immunizations. If they tolerate them well, they may be ready for allergy shots. Some allergists give younger children an injection of saline solution to see how well they do before the parents commit to bringing their children in for allergy shots, which is a three- to five-year commitment.
How Safe Are Allergy Shots for Children?
Allergy shots are considered safe, even for children. However, as with any form of medical treatment, there are risks of side effects, usually irritation local to the injection site. Your allergist can help you weigh the risks and benefits of allergy shots for your child.
There is also a slight risk of a serious reaction known as anaphylaxis. Because allergy shots are performed in allergy clinics, the staff are trained and ready to handle such a reaction. For many parents, the benefits of treating their children’s allergies outweigh the risks. To learn more about treating allergies or to schedule an appointment with an expert allergist, call Charleston ENT & Allergy today.