Allergy Shotsenparents kids battle allergies year-round, and some can't control their symptoms with medications. For them, allergy shots (or allergen immunotherapy) can help.runny nose, my child is congested, allergen, allergen immunotherapy, immunotherapy, allergic reaction, allergic reactions, my child is allergic, dust, mold, pollen, pets, dander, fur, feathers, stinging insects, allergies, food allergies, peanut butter, asthma, earaches, antihistamines, cigarette smoke, allergy symptoms, itchy eyes, allergy triggers, allergens, rash, reaction, allergists, asthma, asthma attack, asthma flare, asthma flares, immunologists, epinephrine, adrenaline, immunity, immune system, allergy vaccinations, shots, shot, needle pricks, needles, allergy, allergies, immunology, CD1Allergy03/22/200001/06/202001/06/2020Larissa Hirsch, MD01/01/2020560272a7-d80b-4017-979d-4a41bb4023ea<h3>What Are Allergy Shots?</h3> <p>Allergy shots (allergen immunotherapy) can treat some types of <a href="">allergies</a>. They're sometimes used for children with allergies to:</p> <ul> <li>things in the environment, like <a href="">pollen</a>, <a href="">mold</a>, or <a href="">dust mites</a></li> <li><a href="">pet dander</a></li> <li><a href="">insect stings</a></li> </ul> <p>Allergy shots aren't helpful for <a href="">food allergies</a>.</p> <h3>Why Are Allergy Shots Used?</h3> <p>An allergy is when the body's <a href="">immune system</a> overreacts to a usually harmless substance. Things that cause allergic reactions are called <strong>allergens</strong>. Common allergens include dust mites, molds, pollen, pets with fur or feathers, stinging insects, and foods.</p> <p><a href=""><img class="right" src="" alt="Allergic Reaction Instruction Sheet" /></a></p> <p>The body reacts to the allergen by releasing chemicals, one of which is <a href="">histamine</a>. This release can cause symptoms such as wheezing, trouble breathing, coughing, a stuffy nose, and more. Some allergic reactions can be <a href="">serious</a>.</p> <p>The best way to prevent or control allergy symptoms is to avoid allergens. Allergists (doctors who identify and treat allergies) <a href="">look for causes</a> of an allergic reaction with <a href="">skin tests</a> and <a href="">blood tests</a>. Based on the test results, they can recommend treatments, including medicines and ways to avoid allergens.</p> <p>If these treatments don't help, the allergist might recommend allergy shots.</p> <h3>How Do Allergy Shots Help?</h3> <p>Allergy shots help the body build immunity to specific allergens, so it's not as bothered by them. Allergy shots also can help kids who have allergies <strong>and</strong> <a href="">asthma</a> have fewer <a href="">asthma flare-ups</a>.</p> <p>Allergy shots contain a tiny amount of a purified form of the allergen causing problems. Doctors increase the dose slowly over the first 3&ndash;6 months. This lets the immune system safely adjust and build immunity to the allergens. This is called the <strong>buildup phase</strong>.</p> <p>The highest effective safe dose becomes a child's monthly <strong>maintenance dose</strong>. Health care providers give this to the child for about 3 to 5 years. Most kids will need fewer shots over time.</p> <p>Some kids' allergy symptoms ease during the buildup phase. Others don't feel better until they're into the maintenance phase. After years of getting allergy shots, some may have lasting relief from symptoms.</p> <h3>Are Allergy Shots Safe?</h3> <p>Allergy shots given by a trained health professional are safe and effective. Kids as young as 5 years old can get them.</p> <p>Kids may have a small reaction near the site of the injection. This can happen right away or within a few hours of the shot. Skin on the arm near the site may get a little red, itch, and swell. Applying an ice pack to the area and giving the child an antihistamine can help.</p> <p>More widespread reactions, like <a href="">hives</a> and itching all over the body, are less common. And more severe reactions (like wheezing, breathing problems, throat swelling, and nausea) are rare. A serious reaction needs treatment right away. That's why kids who get allergy shots are watched in the doctor's office for about 30 minutes afterward.</p> <p>Some other tips:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Kids should get allergy shots only under the supervision of an allergist/immunologist.</li> <li>A child who is ill, especially with asthma or breathing trouble, should not have allergy shots until the doctor says it's safe.</li> </ul> <p>Before your child gets allergy shots, be sure to tell the doctor about any other medicines your child takes.</p> <h3>How Can I Find an Allergist/Immunologist?</h3> <p>Ask your primary care doctor to recommend an allergist/immunologist. If a family member or friend sees an allergist/immunologist, ask who they recommend. You also can search online at:</p> <ul> <li><a href="">The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma Immunology</a></li> </ul> <h3>How Can Parents Help?</h3> <p>Doctors give allergy shots with needles that are smaller than those used for most childhood vaccinations, so they're less painful. Still, for some kids a shot can seem scary. A parent's positive and supportive attitude <a href="">can help</a>. Treatment goes much better when parents are confident and committed to the immunotherapy.</p> <p>While getting a shot, your child can squeeze your hand, sing a song, watch a video, or use another distraction that will take the focus off the injection.</p> <p>Understanding the benefits of allergy shots and how they work will help you and your child accept them as routine.</p>Vacunas antialérgicasMuchos niños padecen alergias. De hecho, las alergias son la causa más común de congestión nasal crónica en los niños. Si su hijo padece alergias, una de las posibles formas de tratamiento es la inmunoterapia con alergenos (vacunas antialérgicas). Lea este artículo para enterarse de qué son las vacunas antialérgicas y cómo ayudar a su hijo.
5 Ways to Prepare for an Allergy EmergencyBeing prepared for an allergy emergency will help you, your child, and other caregivers respond in the event of a serious reaction.
AllergiesExplore more than 20 articles in English and Spanish about all aspects of allergies in children.
Allergy TestingDoctors use several different types of allergy tests, depending on what a person may be allergic to. Find out what to expect from allergy tests.
Do Allergies Cause Asthma?Kids who have allergies also might have a breathing problem called asthma. Find out more in this article for kids.
First Aid: Allergic ReactionsAlthough most allergic reactions aren't serious, severe reactions can be life-threatening and can require immediate medical attention.
Food AllergiesDoctors are diagnosing more and more people with food allergies. Knowing what to expect and how to deal with food allergies can make a big difference in preventing serious illness.
Help With HivesHives are red, itchy blotches that can appear because of an allergic reaction. Find out more in this article for kids.
How Do Doctors Test for Allergies?Find out what the experts have to say.
Insect Sting AllergyInsect sting allergies can cause serious reactions. Find out how to keep kids safe.
Learning About AllergiesDuring an allergic reaction, your body's immune system goes into overdrive. Find out more in this article for kids.
Serious Allergic Reactions (Anaphylaxis)A person with severe allergies can be at risk for a sudden, serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This reaction can seem scary, but the good news is it can be treated.
Word! Allergy Shots and ImmunotherapyImagine if you were always sneezing because you were allergic to something.
kh:age-NAkh:clinicalDesignation-allergykh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-allergyAllergies & the Immune System & Allergies