Our pediatric allergists treat children who have airborne, environmental, medication, 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 they may worry, too—about having an allergic reaction and about feeling different from their friends.
Our team at the Pediatric Allergy Program, which includes pediatric allergists, a pediatric nurse practitioner, pediatric allergy registered nurses, child life specialist, and registered dietitian, 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.
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.
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 the foods they are allergic to and provide treatments that can help your child build up tolerance for certain allergens. This includes oral immunotherapy to treat peanut allergy. We also determine the allergy medication that is most likely to lessen your child’s symptoms if they are exposed, including antihistamines and, in cases of severe allergies, an epinephrine autoinjector.
Oral food challenges, also known as feeding tests, are the gold standard for food allergy diagnosis. During a doctor’s appointment, your child is given small amounts of a suspected allergen, such as peanuts, tree nuts, or eggs. Because it is medically supervised, any reactions that occur are immediately managed. Oral food challenges using early introduction of allergenic foods such as peanut or egg are used for children at risk of developing food allergy, such as infants who have severe eczema. This method can reduce the chance of your child developing severe food allergies later in childhood.
Some children react to airborne allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, 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.
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 to support growth and development.
Our pediatric experts provide the best care possible for children with conditions ranging from minor illnesses to complex, more serious conditions.