November 20, 2018
3 min watch

VIDEO: Thorough consideration of history essential in food allergy diagnosis

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NEW YORK — Food allergies can be difficult to determine in pediatric patients — a topic addressed at the annual Infectious Diseases in Children Symposium. Although many parents may claim that their child has a food allergy, experts urge pediatricians to carefully consider the patient’s previous exposures and reactions before testing.

“I want to emphasize that getting a very careful history of what was eaten, what the symptoms were and whether it makes sense is very important,” Scott Sicherer, MD, director of the Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Food Allergy Institute and professor of pediatrics and allergy and immunology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, told Infectious Diseases in Children. “If you just went on the street and tested random people for peanut allergy, almost one in 10 will test positive, but only about 1% or 2% of children would have an actual peanut allergy.”

Sicherer also discussed prevention of food allergies — especially peanut allergies — using infant-safe techniques for early introduction, and emerging immunotherapy treatment options for children with an existing allergy.

Disclosure: Sicherer reports no relevant financial disclosures.