Allergies, caused by hypersensitivity of the immune system, can cause a variety of symptoms in children, ranging from mild to life-threatening. If your child sneezes or coughs excessively or develops a rash, hives, abdominal pain, cramps or nausea after eating certain foods, the symptoms may be due to an allergy. Although any child can develop allergies, they are most likely to occur in children who have a family history of allergic reactions.
Early diagnosis and treatment of childhood allergies can improve your child’s quality of life and minimize symptoms. The most common allergy symptoms include:
- Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
- Itchy eyes
- Runny nose
- Stomach upset
The Children’s Allergy Testing and Treatment Center at Cohen Children’s offers the most advanced diagnosis and treatment of allergies and immunology disorders. It is the only center of its kind in the region and brings together the specialized expertise of allergists, immunologists, pediatric pulmonologists and pulmonary function technologists.
Seasonal and perennial hay fever is generally caused by sensitivity to pollen of specific types, such as grass, pine trees or goldenrod. To diagnose these allergies, a skin test may be necessary.
Skin rashes can be a common part of a child’s growing up experience. These can be due to exposure to certain triggers like poison ivy or can be an indication of an allergy to a fabric like wool or to the laundry detergent used. To diagnose this properly, a skin test should be performed and a treatment plan established and followed.
Our Rodolitz Food Allergy Center provides comprehensive care for children with food allergies. To fully identify triggers, our staff performs skin and CAP RAST testing and double blind, controlled food challenges. This is to be sure that the proper foods are identified, and the child is properly treated. Similar processes are followed for possible drug allergies.
Children and adolescents with HIV infection and other diseases that lead to secondary or genetically defined immune defects are evaluated and treated. Physicians, nurse specialists, pediatric nurse practitioners, social workers and laboratory technologists formulate treatment protocols for these children.
In addition to children’s allergy testing and treatment, we also offer a full education and support plan for children and their families. This includes a 24-hour hotline at (516) 622-5070 for questions about medications and side effects.
Educational material is available at the clinics, to help young patients and their families understand their diagnosis.
We also have support groups staffed by the healthcare team in various areas. One in particular, PICONS, is a peer informational/educational support group for caregivers of HIV positive children from infancy through adolescence for past, present, and future generations. These caretakers, including parents, grandparents, relatives, foster/adoptive parents, godparents and stepparents, all care for children who are HIV infected.
The group offers information about:
- Latest research and treatment
- Medication tips
- Disclosure of diagnosis
- Child development
- Academic planning
- Community resources
- Stress management
- Emotional support
- Advocacy for children