It’s natural to want your child to feel their best, but that can get tricky when they live with allergies. These reactions occur when the immune system misfires, causing it to react to something harmless. And this issue can arise at any age, even in very young children.
Our experts at Advanced Allergy & Asthma help people of all ages identify and manage allergic reactions. One highly effective treatment involves allergy shots. However, parents often wonder when to take this step with their children.
Allergy treatment varies significantly from person to person. If you have a child with allergies, here are a few things to know about allergy shots.
How allergy shots work
First, it’s crucial to understand how allergy shots work when deciding to proceed with this treatment.
Allergy shots involve exposing a person to very small amounts of an allergen. This process helps desensitize the immune system to its trigger when done slowly over time. However, the amounts used are so small they don’t cause a full-blown allergic reaction. But that also means shots get delivered regularly, weekly or monthly to help build immunity — then more spread out for years to maintain it.
The advantage of allergy shots is that they can provide long-lasting relief for allergy sufferers, eliminating the need for medication moving forward. When used to treat allergies in children, it can also reduce the risk of allergic asthma and anaphylaxis — the most severe and life-threatening allergic reaction — in the future.
But that doesn’t mean allergy shots are right for everyone.
What allergy shots treat
As mentioned above, when you get an allergy shot, the injection contains small amounts of the trigger. Our team uses allergy shots for numerous allergic reactions, such as:
- Seasonal allergies, like hayfever
- Indoor allergies, like pet dander, mold, and dust mites
- Insect stings, like hornets, wasps, yellow jackets, and bees
However, experts usually don’t use allergy shots to treat people with food allergies or chronic hives.
When to consider allergy shots for children
Allergy shots offer a safe and effective treatment option for people of all ages. However, our team usually recommends waiting until a child is at least five or older. It’s often best to consider various factors instead of their age alone.
General guidelines that can help determine if a child can benefit from allergies include:
- Their maturity level
- Their ability to communicate their allergy symptoms
- How do they tolerate routine vaccines or allergy testing
- Whether they can understand the reason for the allergy shots
As you can see, these factors can vary significantly from child to child, and even a 10-year-old may not be ready to undergo this course of treatment. As a result, some children can benefit by getting this therapy very young, while others do better waiting until their teenage years or adulthood.
Our team can provide personalized information so you can make the best decision for your child. Whether you choose allergy shots or not, we can ensure you have the tools to help them manage their symptoms and reduce the risk of serious complications like anaphylaxis.
Does your child have allergies? Schedule a consultation at Advanced Allergy & Asthma to learn more about their treatment options in Ogden, Utah, today.