Runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, coughing, sleeplessness and even trouble breathing are all possible signs of allergies. When these symptoms are recurrent and disruptive, your doctor may recommend an allergy test to see if allergies may be the cause of you or your child’s chronic complaints. Even for adults, allergy tests are not the most fun. No one likes to be poked and feel itchy. But an upcoming allergy test doesn’t have to be scary or cause undue or excess anxiety for children!
(Download prep materials below)
Quick Tips for Parents:
- Be sure to clarify with your doctor or allergist the type of test that will be administered. The included prep materials are for a skin prick test. This type of allergy test does not use needles or individual applicators, but instead uses 5 plastic applicators that test for 10 allergens at a time. You want to make sure that you and your child are prepared for the correct type of test.
- Ask if a tour or “meet and greet” is an option for your child. This is a great option, especially if your child tends to have heightened anxiety around doctor’s visits and procedures.
- Validate your child’s feelings. The test doesn’t “hurt” but it definitely isn’t the most comfortable!As adults it is easy for us to want to dispel any fears that our children may have by saying, “It’ll be okay,” or “It won’t hurt!” While our intentions are to ease our children’s minds, it can actually do the option by making the child feel invalided or less confident.
- Bring a comfort item or activity to help pass the time. After the test is administered, it is common to have to wait for about 15 minutes, sometimes longer to see if the body reacts to the allergens. During this time, your child may begin to feel itchy, but will not be able to move a ton or itch their arms. Bringing activities will help keep your child’s mind busy and less like to focus on their itchy arms. Good activities to bring are coloring, puzzles, iPads, books, etc.