Pediatric/Teen Allergy and Asthma Care

Seasonal allergies and childhood asthma can really make kids feel bad and keep them from doing the things they love. Don't let them suffer. Relief is possible. Covenant specializes in the testing and treatment of children who suffer from all kinds of allergies and asthma. Whether its food allergies, seasonal allergies or asthma, we can take care of your babies and your teenagers and all those in between.

At Covenant, we understand that treating children is different than treating adults. They have special needs and respond differently to testing and treatments than adults. Dr. Raschal has many years of experience as a pediatric allergist and is also is a mother herself with children who have asthma and allergies. She knows firsthand the concern a parent has for a child with these conditions. As a board-certified allergist, she is trained specifically in diagnosing and treating all types of allergies and asthma.

Symptoms

Symptoms of pediatric allergies are often confused with symptoms of common pediatric ear, nose and throat conditions. Often, children diagnosed with frequent cold or sinus infections are suffering from allergies. Allergies can also contribute to other common pediatric problems such as ear infections. Allergies are most typically present in childhood. It is critical to have your child evaluated by a board-certified doctor specially trained to recognize common pediatric respiratory illnesses and potential causes.

Inhalants such as dust, ragweed, pollen and animal dander can contribute to irritating the sensitive membranes covering the nose and throat. If allergies run in a family then the potential for children to be sensitive to allergens is much higher. Often when children are diagnosed with multiple ear, sinus or throat infections, inhalant allergies are at the root of the problem.

What Should I Watch For?

  • Skin reactions such as rashes, itching, hives or eczema.
  • Gastrointestinal reactions like diarrhea or nausea.
  • Respiratory reactions may be expressed by coughing, nasal congestion or wheezing.

Food Allergies

How Will I Know If It's a Food Allergy?
Food is supposed to help children grow up healthy and strong. But for some, a simple peanut butter sandwich, scrambled egg, or glass of milk can cause problems. Between 6 and 8 percent of children younger than age 5 are allergic to specific foods, and those numbers are expected to increase.

How Will I Know Whether My Baby is Allergic to a Certain Food?
Food-allergy symptoms typically occur within a few minutes to an hour after eating a food and are unmistakable.

  • hives (red, raised welts)
  • vomiting or diarrhea
  • wheezing
  • swelling around the lips, tongue, or eyes
  • In severe cases, a person experiences multiple symptoms at once in a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis

Ninety percent of food allergies are triggered by milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, shellfish, and fish -- known in allergy circles as "the big eight." And if a child is allergic to one food, she's usually allergic to others. Peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish are the most likely to cause anaphylaxis.

Who's at Risk?

Children are more likely to have allergies if their parents are allergic. A child with one parent who has any kind of allergy, including environmental or seasonal allergies, has a 30 percent chance of becoming allergic. Having two allergic parents increases a child's risk to 60 percent.

Treatment

At Covenant, Dr. Raschal evaluates, diagnoses and treats pediatric allergies. Often our patients are referred to us for common pediatric illnesses, such as frequent ear infections or sinus infections. We recognize the underlying cause may be inhalant allergies, and can test and evaluate for possible triggers the same day as your appointment.

Dr. Raschal may recommend several treatment options for pediatric allergies including:

  • The use of daily oral medication like antihistamines or a nasal steroid spray
  • Decongestants to minimize the mucous
  • Nasal rinses
  • Behavioral changes including removing allergy triggers from the child's environment (dust mite encasement covers, removing pets or stuffed animals from child's room, etc)
  • Immunotherapy (injection)

Just for Kids

Covenant has a play area for children in the waiting area and toys in every exam room to keep little ones entertained before and after exams.

Covenant also has extended hours for appointments and allergy shots on Thursday evenings and Saturdays to work around school schedules.

Our team believes that pediatric allergies and pediatric asthma can be successfully treated and controlled—so a kid…can be a kid.