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Pediatric allergy and immunology

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Whether your child is allergic to certain foods, dust mites, ragweed, mold or pollen, we can help. 

Board-certified pediatric allergists eliminate or limit the effects of food and indoor or outdoor allergens.

Among the conditions we treat are:

  • Asthma
  • ​Rhinitis
  • ​​Food Allergies
​​Asthma

Asthma is a long-term disease in which the child's airways swell to the point where breathing is effected. Symptoms like coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and wheezing are common. 

Asthma can be triggered by a family history of allergy or exposure to allergens like pets, mold, pollen, smoke, air pollution or even strong smells, and respiratory infections. 

Proper diagnosis of childhood asthma requires a doctor trained to recognize its unique characteristics. Marshfield Clinic has specialists who are trained specifically in diagnosis and treatment of childhood allergies.​

Take the Asthma Quiz

Treatments​​

​Once a child is diagnosed with asthma, a Marshfield Clinic physician will work with the family to develop a long-term plan for treatment that includes adult supervision, changes in lifestyle and the use of medications.

Lifestyle and Environmental Changes
A child will learn to control asthma by avoiding environmental triggers, getting proper rest, exercise and nutrition. Controlling exposure to triggers may involve efforts keeping kids extra-bundled on cold days, avoiding contact with pets and consistent cleaning of the house, bedding and toys. The child will also be encouraged to be active and confident so they think of themselves as a healthy person not a "sick" person.

Medication and Devices
Both parents and children will be taught how to use medical devices and administer medication including:

  • Peak flow meter - this device may be recommended to measure a child's ease of breathing.

  • Inhalers and oral medications - with controlled dosages specific to the child's individual needs can control symptoms in the event of an asthma flare-up.

​Rhinitis

Rhinitis is swelling of the mucous membranes in the nose causing sneezing, itching, runny nose and congestion. There are two types of rhinitis, allergic and non-allergic. Seasonal allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, comes from common natural triggers like airborne tree, grass and weed pollens or mold. Common indoor allergens include pet dander and mold. 

Non-allergic rhinitis has the same symptoms but is most common in adults and not tied to a child's immune system. Marshfield Clinic has pediatric specialists who are experts in diagnosis and treatment of allergies.​

Treatments

​Based on your child's triggers for rhinitis, your Marshfield Clinic doctor will work with you to create a plan for how to avoid contact with the triggers both indoor and outdoor. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to decrease symptoms including:


Medication

  • Allergy pills and nasal sprays - various prescriptions exist to block the symptoms of an allergic reaction like itching, sneezing, runny nose and congestion.

  • Allergy shots - for children whose symptoms persist, a doctor may suggest the use of injections over a period of three to five years that encourage the patient's own immune system to tolerate the allergens and lessen the need for medication.

​​Food Allergies

A food allergy is diagnosed when a child's immune system overreacts​ to what is considered a harmless food. 

Most common food allergens are the proteins found in cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, shell fish and tree nuts. Since a food allergy can cause a serious reaction, a doctor who specializes in allergies is best qualified to diagnose and treat the condition. 

Marshfield Clinic has allergy specialists in northern and central Wisconsin to help with your concerns about food allergies.​

Take the Food Allergy Quiz

Treatments

Once a child is diagnosed with a particular food allergy, the doctor will advise the family on how best to eliminate allergic reactions from occurring.

​Lifestyle Changes

  • Parents and child can simply avoid the food altogether.
  • Asking about food ingredients - when eating at restaurants or at the homes of others.
  • Reading food labels - names of food allergens are listed as ingredients on all foods purchased at the grocery store.

Medication
In extreme cases life-threatening reactions to food can occur so a physician will provide families with injectable medication that can be used by the child, parents, friends or a school nurse if a food allergen is eaten by mistake.​

Request Appointment

Contact us for care

If this is a medical emergency, call 911.

Call: 1-866-520-2510

(Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

How Much Do You Know About Allergies?

Allergies are nothing to sneeze at. Learn how to better deal with them by taking the following quiz.

1. Which of these body systems causes allergic reactions?
2. An allergen is anything that triggers an allergic or hypersensitive response. Which of these could be an allergen?
3. What does the body release to combat allergens?
4. The most severe form of allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. What happens?
5. Which of these symptoms is most common with a food allergy?
6. Which of these foods are most likely to trigger an allergy?
7. More Americans are developing a sensitivity to the plant proteins in latex materials or the chemical additives used in manufacturing the materials. Who's most at risk of developing a latex allergy?
8. Pediatricians who treat children with egg allergies are cautious about using certain vaccines because they may be grown in an egg medium. Which of these vaccines warrant caution?
9. Dust mites trigger indoor respiratory allergies. Where are you most likely to find them in the home?