Allergy Testing for Children

Diagnostic tests for allergy may include skin tests or blood tests.

Skin testing is a very common and reliable test to determine your child’s allergies. Using small amounts of solution that contain different allergens, your child’s doctor will either inject under the skin or apply the allergens on the surface of the skin with a small scratch.

A positive reaction will appear as a small red area at the site of the test in about 15 minutes. A reaction to the skin test does not always mean your child is allergic to the allergen that caused the reaction. This will be determined by your child's doctor.

Skin testing is usually not done on children who have had a severe life-threatening reaction to an allergen or have severe dry skin (eczema). 

Blood tests for allergies measure IgE antibodies to specific allergens in the blood. The blood test most commonly used is called ImmunoCAP. Blood tests may be used when skin tests cannot be performed.

As with skin testing, it is important to remember that a positive blood test does not always mean your child is allergic to that allergen.

Last Updated 07/2012