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Monday 20th April marks the start of Allergy Awareness Week and this year the focus is on childhood food allergies – something that can cause major worries for parents and carers of young children.
Simply put, an allergy is an adverse reaction to a particular substance, and those reactions can range from the relatively mild – such as sneezing and a runny nose, to the severe – such as anaphylaxis. Given the potential severity of a reaction, it is understandable that many parents and carers of young children will have concerns, so we asked YourGP’s Dr Susie Martin to answer some of your most common questions.
Are allergies on the rise?
Yes, there has been a marked increase in the amount of people diagnosed with an allergy in recent years. We now understand this to be the result of a number of factors including an increase in pollution, dietary changes, and less exposure to microbes from a young age which help to build up our immune systems.
What is a typical allergic reaction?
Allergic reactions can vary greatly and can include one or more of the following:
Which foods could trigger an allergic reaction?
There are many foods that can cause an allergic reaction but the most common trigger foods are:
How do I know if my child is allergic to something?
Many allergies first show up during the weaning stage, that’s why it’s so important to introduce very small amounts of the potential trigger foods one at a time between the ages of 6 and 12 months. If your child displays any adverse symptoms it is essential you seek medical help immediately.
Will my child always be allergic?
You may be reassured to hear that many children outgrow their allergies to things such as milk and eggs, however generally speaking peanut allergies often last a lifetime.
Can I get my child tested for allergies at YourGP?
Yes, YourGP is one of the few private clinics in Scotland to provide a Skin Prick Allergy Test, which is suitable for children aged four and above. The great thing about this test is that it offers immediate results.
How does the Skin Prick Allergy Test work?
The test involves spotting a tiny amount of the allergen onto your child’s forearm. We’ll then measure any reaction (an allergic reaction usually shows up as a small blister with a red ‘flare’ patch around the test area).
How much does the Skin Prick Allergy Test cost?
For further information about allergies, or to book a Skin Prick Allergy Test, call us on 0131 225 5656 or email at email@example.com.
I needed a quick appointment as I was leaving for America. The doctor listened and allayed any concerns. It was a pleasure to talk to a doctor who wasn’t watching the clock and not paying attention to me. I left confident that if a problem arose I would be able to deal with it until I arrived home. The experience left me feeling confident and positive.