Child Immunotherapy

For many children with asthma or allergy symptoms, the culprits are substances in their everyday environment, such as dust mites, pollen, mold or pet dander. Their immune system mistakenly believes these harmless substances are dangerous and tries to fight them off, triggering symptoms such as sneezing, congestion and breathing problems – some of which can be serious.

Also known as allergy shots, immunotherapy is a type of treatment that may help desensitize a child to the things they are allergic to. By exposing your child to tiny amounts of the allergens that trigger reactions, immunotherapy slowly builds up their immune system’s ability to tolerate offending substances rather than attack them.

Treating Allergies with Immunotherapy

Allergy shots are given in the fatty tissue on the back of the arm; most children don’t find the injections painful since they are not given in muscle tissue.

  • Most children start off with shots once or twice a week for about a year. During this time, while the immune system is being exposed to allergens, children usually need to continue taking allergy medications.
  • After about a year, most children reach a maintenance stage and can receive injections less frequently, such as every other week or once a month. They may be able to decrease or discontinue their medications.
  • Over time, as the immune system learns to tolerate the allergens, the frequency and severity of allergic reactions to them decreases; for most children, this takes 12 to 18 months.

Allergy shots can take a year or more to be fully effective, but they’re highly successful for 80 to 90 percent of children who complete treatment. Mercy Kids allergy specialists have the expertise to identify which allergens trigger your child’s symptoms and how best to treat them. Contact us to find out if immunotherapy might help your child live allergy-free.

Locations Nearby

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