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ACAAI > Patients & Public > Allergies > Children and Allergies

Pediatric Allergist

How special is a pediatric allergist? Let us review the ways.

Pediatric Allergists Are Well-Trained

First off, its important to know that almost all ACAAI member allergists are trained in pediatric allergy even if they do not use the term pediatric allergist. ACAAI member allergists have completed years of training to learn how to prevent, diagnose, and treat allergies and immunologic disorders in children of all ages, including asthma, allergic rhinitis, hives, eye allergies, eczema, and chronic sinus infections.

The path to becoming a pediatric allergist begins after obtaining a medical degree. Candidates then go through three or four years of residency training in either pediatrics or med-peds, a combination of pediatrics and internal medicine. After that, these doctors must be certified by the American Board of Pediatrics or the American Board of Internal Medicine or both groups. Finally, after two more years serving as fellows in accredited allergy-immunology training programs, future allergists must pass the American Board of Allergy and Immunology (ABAI) certification exam, which tests their skills, knowledge, and experience treating children with allergic disease.

In short, an ABAI-certified allergist is a highly qualified professional with specific training in the science and practice of allergy in children.

Coordinated Care Leads to Better Outcomes

As a parent, you might wonder if it matters if your allergy-suffering child sees an allergist as opposed to the family pediatrician. After all, your pediatrician is well trained and certainly has knowledge about allergic disease.

The evidence indicates that specialized training in allergy disease does matter a great deal.

According to the World Allergy Organization (WAO), allergy specialists are needed to provide optimal treatment to patientsincluding young oneswith allergies and to best manage a disease that impacts from 20 percent to 30 percent of the worlds population.

Yet the majority of allergy sufferers globally are treated by primary care physicians and not by trained allergists.According to WAO and others, a patient of any age with allergies who receives uncoordinated treatment from one or more generalistsinstead of from a single allergy specialist capable of comprehensively managing caremay not be well served. Such patients often are overprescribed oral steroids and other risky therapiessometimes for yearseven as the specific triggers of the allergic diseases are missed or not fully addressed.,Children need the type of specialized care provided by an allergist to ensure that allergic problems are properly diagnosed and treated.

Pediatric Allergists Understand Children

Due to their training and experience, allergists are experts at working with kids who suffer from allergies. This is important for a variety of reasons. Children with allergy disease not only feel miserable, they are no doubt sick of adults poking and prodding them, wiping their noses, or asking them whats wrong. Allergists can set children at ease during examinations and better obtain details of their symptoms.

Allergists are trained in the latest diagnostic and treatment tools, and stay on top of research on promising new therapies, and therefore know how to effectively care for their young patients. They also understand what tools and treatments are safe for infants and the very young.

Pediatric allergists have a broad perspective of how allergies affect the lives of childrendirectly and indirectly. In addition to their physical symptoms, youngsters with allergies might have psychological problems, sleeping difficulties, academic troubles and conflicts with peers.

An allergist, for instance, might explore how a child with asthma is coping in school: Is the child allowed to carry his inhaler all day or must he go to the school nurse to get it before every gym class? If so, he may be skipping gym class and losing out on exercise that can reduce his asthma symptoms.

Allergists know how families struggle when their child has allergies. An allergist is trained to treat the symptoms of a food allergy, and can help parents learn how to read food labels and how to prepare meals that avoid triggering their childs allergy symptoms.

Moreover, for parents of children with life-threatening allergies, allergists can prescribe an emergency action plan to teach parents how to react quickly and correctly if their child accidentally ingests an allergen.They might also inquire about the childs home life and sleeping areas to determine if pet dander or dust mites can be alleviated to reduce allergic symptoms.

Allergists are trained to comprehensively diagnose and treat children with one or many allergies. They can help young people lead healthier lives, which is pretty special indeed.

Locate a pediatric allergist near you today.

 

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