The most common allergic conditions are eczema (dermatitis), asthma, hay fever (rhinitis), food, drug and insect allergies.
At NSPAC, where relevant, we are able to test children for various allergens such as pollen, pets, dust mite and specific food types (eg milk, wheat, nuts, seafood, fruit and egg). We also perform skin prick testing to fresh food and fruits where indicated. Skin prick tests can also be performed to specific creams and topical preparations (eg sunscreen).
A paediatric allergist & immunologist is a doctor who has completed his/her paediatric training, and then undergone further subspecialty training in paediatric allergy and immunology. Their area of expertise and interest is therefore in paediatric allergy and immunology. Paediatric allergy and immunology is a dedicated children’s subspecialty.
Unlike a general allergist, Dr Tan is a paediatric allergist and immunologist who only sees patients who are aged between 0-18 years. He does not see adult patients.
North Shore Paediatric Allergy Centre is a dedicated purpose-built clinic for children with allergies. Our staff are highly trained to help children and perform skin prick testing on children. At our clinic, we use a needleless system where the allergen droplet and “prick” is administered simultaneously. This technique is quicker and results in less discomfort, compared with the traditional method. As allergies are complex and vary from child to child, we do not perform standard “panels” of allergy tests. Instead, a thorough history and examination is obtained before individualized skin prick testing to specific allergens (where necessary) is performed on each child. Your doctor will then explain to you the test result and the implications of this test result. Each patient receives a printed report of the allergy test to keep as a personal record.
Food challenges are performed to further determine if your child is allergic to a specific food, or has outgrown their allergy. It is NOT performed to ascertain the severity of an allergic reaction (eg anaphylaxis)
No fasting is required on the day of the food challenge.
We request that no antihistamines are given to your child for at least 48 hours prior to the allergy food challenge. Your child should also be clinically well on the day. If your child is unwell (or you are unsure) or has had to take antihistamines within 48 hours of the challenge, please call 9411 8888 to reschedule as soon as possible. On arrival, your child will be assessed and a skin prick test will be performed to the food to be challenged. The small amount of the food to be challenged will then be offered to your child in gradually increasing amounts to be given every 15-20 minutes. Your child will be closely monitored by our medical and nursing staff throughout the process for an allergic reaction. After the final dose, your child will be observed for a further 1-2 hours before being discharged.
Parents should bring the actual food that your child is being challenged to. If your child is having a baked egg challenge, we will supply a muffin recipe for you to prepare prior to the food challenge. We also ask that you bring some of your child’s favourite foods, as it can sometimes ben challenging to introduce a food that your child has been told to avoid. As the challenge can take several hours, we recommend that you bring some entertainment for your child (eg their favourite DVD or game). The challenge room is equipped with a selection of children’s DVDs and a television.