Allergy Test Singapore: How is it done on Babies?

Doctor making allergy test at table

Allergy testing for babies is a crucial tool in determining and managing allergies. It helps you confirm or rule out specific allergens so you can significantly minimize adverse reactions and unnecessary avoidance of certain substances and limit the need for excessive medications. See what to expect during an allergy testing in Singapore on this page:

Allergy tests play a pivotal role in assisting parents and healthcare professionals, like pediatricians or allergists, in identifying the substances that trigger infant allergy symptoms. Since these tests can pinpoint the exact allergens, it becomes easier to establish what measures should be taken to keep your child away from potential triggers.

But it is not just the measures. This valuable information also empowers healthcare providers to recommend appropriate treatments that effectively alleviate symptoms, ensuring your baby’s comfort and well-being.

What Age Do Babies Get Allergy Tests?

Determining the appropriate age for allergy testing in babies is essential to ensure accurate results and effective management of their allergies. While allergies are prevalent among babies, they can significantly impact various aspects of their lives, including;

  1. Sleep: Allergies can disrupt a child’s sleep patterns. This cannot only lead to restless nights but also inadequate rest. Common allergic conditions like allergic rhinitis can lead to nasal congestion or cause sneezing, and itching, which makes it difficult for children to breathe properly and sleep soundly. Persistent symptoms during the night can result in frequent awakenings. These symptoms can also cause fragmented sleep, and daytime drowsiness, impacting your baby’s overall sleep quality.
  2. School Attendance: When allergy symptoms are severe, many children experience frequent absences. Many of them also find it frustratingly difficult to concentrate in class due to discomfort and fatigue. Allergic reactions, like skin rashes or respiratory symptoms, can also be triggered by allergens in the school environment. This would make it difficult for your child to consistently go to school. It may also limit their participation in certain activities.
  3. Diet: Food allergies can significantly impact your child’s diet. This is because certain foods can trigger allergic reactions.These reactions can vary in severity, from minor discomfort to life-threatening anaphylaxis which is potentially fatal. When your child has food allergies, it becomes crucial to strictly avoid allergenic food(s). It also becomes mandatory to always, and carefully read food labels to prevent accidental exposure. This may limit their food choices. Also, it may require special meal preparations, and make dining out or attending social events more challenging.
  4. Overall Health: Allergies can your affect a child’s overall health in a myriad of ways. They can cause itching, hives, swelling, respiratory distress, and digestive issues. These symptoms cannot only impact your baby’s energy levels. They can also affect appetite, and the baby’s general well-being. And what’s more, repeated exposure to allergens can lead to chronic inflammation which can affect the baby’s immune system and potentially predispose them to other health conditions like asthma or eczema.

If your child experiences adverse reactions to certain foods, allergy testing becomes crucial for not just their safety. Additionally, it is essential to their welfare.

And, allergy tests can be conducted at any age. However, it is generally advised to avoid skin tests in children under six months old.

This precaution arises from the fact that the accuracy of allergy tests tends to be lower in very young children. Recognizing the symptoms of allergies or persistent cold-like symptoms that persist for several weeks is an important cue to consult with your child’s doctor.

So, how is Allergy Testing done on Babies?

Allergy testing for babies involves various methods to identify specific allergens. The allergy testing method used can also help determine the presence of allergies. Here’s a quick roundup of some of the most popular options for allergy test in Singapore and what to expect with each of them;

  1. Blood Test: This test measures antibodies in your baby’s blood specific to different allergens, including food. For this test, a blood sample would be taken. It would then be forwarded to a lab for testing.Usually, the results are available a few days later. They can indicate the likelihood of allergies based on the antibody levels.
  2. Skin Prick Test: This test is considered the gold standard of allergy tests. For this test a small drop of an allergen would be placed on the skin. The doctor would then proceed to prick the skin with a needle to allow the allergen to penetrate the skin. If your child is allergic to the substance, a swollen reddish bump with a surrounding ring will form. This test can be performed after the age of 6 months. It is typically conducted on the inner arm or back, and you can expect to have the results available on the same day.
  3. Patch Test: If your baby has experienced rashes or hives, a patch test may be recommended as part of their allergy testing in Singapore. This test can help determine if an allergen was responsible for their skin irritation. For this approach, allergens would be applied to patches. They would then be placed on the skin, typically on the arm or back. The baby would need to wear the patches for 48 hours. After that, they would be removed at the doctor’s office for evaluation.
  4. Intradermal Test: In this test, a tiny amount of an allergen is injected beneath the arm’s skin. It is often used to test for penicillin allergies or allergies to insect venom. After approximately 15 minutes, the injection site is checked for any allergic reactions.
  5. Food Challenge Test: To diagnose food allergies, skin tests and blood tests are often used. If the results are inconclusive, your allergist may recommend a food challenge test. This test is conducted to determine if a child has a food allergy. It can also be used to check if they’ve outgrown a food allergy. Small portions of the suspected food are given in increasing amounts, with monitoring for any reactions.
  6. Elimination Diet: In an elimination diet, suspected food allergens would be removed from your baby’s diet. This should last for a period of two to three weeks. Symptoms are monitored during this time. Then, under the guidance of your child’s allergist, each eliminated food is reintroduced individually. As these foods are reintroduced, your child would be observed for any allergic reactions like changes in breathing, rashes, bowel habit changes, or sleep disturbances.

Closing Thoughts

Every case is unique to itself. So, if you’re considering an allergy test in Singapore for your child, consult with a skilled doctor or allergist to determine the most appropriate allergy testing method for them.

These tests can provide valuable insights. However, you mustn’t forget that false positives and negatives can occur. After testing is done, discuss with the doctor the signs to watch out for. Also, have them explain any necessary precautions and treatments.

We prioritize your child’s health and well-being. Schedule an appointment today to ensure accurate allergy testing, personalized treatment plans, and expert care for your little one.