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Our pediatric allergists treat children who have airborne, environmental, and food allergies.
When your child has multiple allergies, is at risk for a life-threatening allergic reaction, or is experiencing growth issues related to food allergies, it affects the entire family. You may often worry about your child’s health, and he or she may worry too—about having an allergic reaction and about feeling different from his or her friends.
Our team at the Pediatric Allergy Program, which includes a pediatric allergist, a pediatric nurse practitioner, and two pediatric allergy registered nurses, understands the challenges of living with allergies. We provide practical solutions for avoiding allergic triggers and access to the latest in allergy treatments. Our goal is to develop a long-term relationship with your child and family and provide you with the education and support you need.
Diagnosis of Childhood Allergies
At the Pediatric Allergy Program, part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, we start by talking with your child and you to understand the history of allergy and how it affects your family’s everyday life. We then use specialized allergy testing to identify your child’s triggers. This can include a skin test to look for reactions to small amounts of allergens and blood tests to look for antibodies to certain allergens. Our child life specialist supports your child through these tests, creating distractions and providing comfort to help ease fears and make the process more manageable.
Care for Children with Food Allergies
The most effective treatment for food allergies is to avoid anything that contains the allergen. This is not always an easy task, however, when the most likely food allergies in children—milk, eggs, peanuts, and soy—are found in many common foods. From the school lunchroom table to the care packages at summer camp, children are constantly exposed to food and are socially inclined to share. Also, some ingredients are hard to detect or identify.
We teach your child and family ways to avoid certain foods and provide treatments that can build up tolerance for certain allergens. This includes oral immunotherapy to treat peanut allergy. For children at risk of developing food allergy, such as infants who have severe eczema or egg allergy, we offer early introduction of allergenic foods such as peanuts, tree nuts, and eggs during supervised oral food challenges in our office. This approach can reduce the chance of your child developing severe food allergies later in childhood.
We also determine the allergy medication for your child that is most likely to lessen symptoms if they are exposed, including antihistamines and, in cases of severe allergies, an epinephrine autoinjector.
Care for Children with Airborne and Environmental Allergies
Some children react to airborne allergens, such as pollen, mold, and pet dander, or have allergies to insects, medicines, or chemicals. We teach your child and family ways to avoid these allergens, such as asking about pets before scheduling a playdate, using special bedding covers, and removing drapes that can harbor allergens. Sometimes we recommend immunotherapy for children, also known as allergy shots.
Emotional Support for Children with Allergies
Living with allergies can be challenging. Children with allergies often worry about their own health and can feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of avoiding triggers. Some children are mocked and bullied by peers. Our social worker can provide emotional support and coping tools. Your child and family also have access to a registered dietitian who offers practical tips for avoiding food triggers and ensures that your child’s restricted diet provides proper nutrition.
Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone
Our pediatric experts provide the best care possible for children with conditions ranging from minor illnesses to complex, more serious conditions.