Just a few minutes ago I was reading a post on a mommy forum about a nine-month-old infant who’d been spending tons of time at the doctors and in the emergency room. The post did not pose a significant question about infant health, but the description of emergency room visits and symptoms caught my attention almost immediately. The baby suffered recurring bouts of gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, wheezing and coughing. Two of the infant’s illnesses struck immediately after the parents visited a local “brewpub” with the infant. As the parent of a child with life-threatening food allergies I immediately thought the child was having an allergic response to food, but could the parents order food allergy testing at nine months old?
When is the Best Time for Food Allergy Testing?
There is no specific answer to this question. Most moms report food allergy testing between 12 and 18 months of age, likely in response to a severe or anaphylactic reaction. Other moms claim testing was completed as early as nine months. In the case of the parents of the infant mentioned in the blog post, if no one else in the home is sick with gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea and vomiting and the child gets sick after visiting a local restaurant, there may be a strong enough connection to facilitate early testing.
Will the Test Results be Accurate?
Some food allergy test results change and others are there for life. My son, for instance, will be deathly allergic to peanuts and tree nuts for the rest of his life. He will always have to carry an epinephrine injector and there will likely be many trips to the emergency room in our future. Other children test positive for mild or moderate allergies to milk when they are young only to outgrow the allergies as they age.
Each infant or toddler will pose different symptoms when it comes to food allergies, but if you feel your child may be suffering from a food allergy bring up testing to your doctor. Testing is relatively inexpensive and covered by most insurance plans. It’s better to be safe than continue watching your child get sick over and over again constantly wondering what you’re doing wrong.