Allergies in Children

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If your child coughs or sneezes a lot, has rashes or hives on a regular basis or gets an upset stomach or nausea after eating certain foods, your child may have allergies. Allergies tend to run in families, but anyone can develop allergies.

Symptoms of Allergies in Children

Irritants — things that cause allergic reactions — can come from anywhere, ranging from tree and plant pollen, animal fur, dust and mold to cigarette smoke and perfume. Common food allergies are those to peanuts, eggs and milk. Some symptoms may include: 

  • Skin rashes
  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy eyes
  • Stomach upset or diarrhea after eating certain foods
  • Frequent ear infections

Diagnosis & Treatment at UVA

We provide comprehensive care for children with allergic diseases. If you think your child has allergies, we will conduct allergy assessments, including the following tests:

  • A skin-scratch test to reveal which irritants cause an allergic reaction
  • A blood test, which may be performed if the skin-scratch test does not provide clear results
  • Food, drug and breathing challenges to determine the cause of symptoms
  • Breathing tests

Over-the-counter medications may relieve your child’s symptoms. Some of the other treatments we offer include:

  • Allergy shots
  • Drug desensitization
  • Immunotherapy

Food Allergies: Patient Education Resources

Peanut Challenge

Information from Pediatric Allergy Clinic about how to prepare for your peanut food challenge visit.

Wheat Challenge

Information from Pediatric Allergy Clinic about how to prepare for your wheat food challenge visit.

Soy Challenge

Information from Pediatric Allergy Clinic about how to prepare for your soy food challenge visit.

Baked Egg Challenge

Information from Pediatric Allergy Clinic about how to prepare for your baked egg food challenge visit.

Whole Egg Challenge

Information from Pediatric Allergy Clinic about how to prepare for your whole egg food challenge visit.

Tree Nut Challenge

Information from Pediatric Allergy Clinic about how to prepare for your tree nut food challenge visit.

Baked Milk Challenge

Information from Pediatric Allergy Clinic about how to prepare for your baked milk food challenge visit.

Unbaked Milk Challenge

Information from Pediatric Allergy Clinic about how to prepare for your unbaked milk food challenge visit.