Food allergy testing for a one-year old vs a four-year old

Alan Greene, MD, Founder of DrGreene.com, shares advice for parents on the differences between testing for food allergies in your child at the age of one and the age of four
Food Allergy Testing In A One-Year Old Vs. A Four-Year Old
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Food allergy testing for a one-year old vs a four-year old

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Allergy testing works a little differently than most people think. If you do allergy testing in a 1 year old and the test comes back positive, you likely have a real allergy to that thing, food or pollen, or whatever it is. But if the test comes back negative, you really don't learn anything at all from the negative test. They might have it, they might not have an allergy. It might just be that they're allergic but it's too early for them to develop the signs of it in their body. So positive test help a lot, negative test tell you nothing. In a 4 year old, it's just the opposite. In a 4 year old, do the same allergy test and if it's a negative test, you're pretty confident they do not have an allergy to that thing because they would have shown the evidence by now. But if it's positive, they might not be allergic at all. There's lots of things, that they've develop antibodies to, that they've now learned how to deal with and are not a problem. So negative test tell you a lot, the positive ones only tell you this is one of the things they might be allergic to. So allergies come and go throughout childhood. Some of them, most kids outgrow like milk allergies. Some of them, even the severe ones like peanuts, up to a 3rd will outgrow by themselves. And there's new work happening, a friend of mine is doing things, that can help you outgrow peanut allergies. So if you do allergy testing, it's not a 1 shot deal, that's just a snapshot of that moment in time. If allergies turn issue, just because you've had it before, it might be time to do it again. There's new information every time.

Alan Greene, MD, Founder of DrGreene.com, shares advice for parents on the differences between testing for food allergies in your child at the age of one and the age of four

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Alan Greene, MD

Founder, DrGreene.com

Dr. Alan Greene founded his website, DrGreene.com, in 1995, cited by the AMA as "the pioneer physician web site." In 2010 he founded the WhiteOut Now movement to change how babies are fed from their very first bite of solid food, and in 2012 he founded TICC TOCC – Transitioning Immediate Cord Clamping To Optimal Cord Clamping. He is an author of several books including Feeding Baby Green and appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, TODAY Show, Good Morning America, the Dr. Oz Show, and is a regular columnist for Parenting magazine. He is a practicing pediatrician and the father of four.

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