Frequently asked questions
What is an oral challenge?
An oral challenge is a diagnostic procedure to demonstrate whether or not your child is allergic to a specific food or medication. This procedure is not without risk, as we are giving a product that your child may be allergic to.
Please carefully follow the steps outlined below. If you have any questions please contact our office.
How long is the oral challenge?
Oral challenges can vary in duration depending on the food/medication being challenged, and your child's history.
In general, for medications, please plan on being in our office for up to 2 hours. For foods this procedure is approximately 4-6 hours.
Are there special instructions around routine medications?
- Do not take antihistamines or cold medication for 7 days prior to the oral challenge.
- Take your regular asthma medications.
- Over the counter and prescription creams can continue to be used as needed.
What if my child is sick?
Do not have oral challenge if your child is sick or if your child has poor asthma control. Sick includes a cough, cold, runny nose, fever or recent vomitting/diarrheal illness.
In the event your child has a reaction during an oral challenge, this may appear very similar to an illness. Additionally, reactions during illness may potentially be more severe. Thus, for your child's safety, if your child comes to the oral challenge appointment while they are sick, this appointment will be re-scheduled.
What should I bring for the oral challenge?
- Bring all your regular medications including asthma medications and Epipen.
- Bring the food or medication required for the challenge. Your child will be required to eat a full serving of the food.
- If necessary, please bring other food to mask the taste or texture, especially if your child is a picky eater!
- Bring other food and snacks.
- Bring other toys, reading material as needed.
- A change of clothes in the event of vomiting is sometimes helpful.
What if my child has a reaction?
If your child reacts, medications will be used to manage their reaction. This can include: Epinephrine, Antihistamines or other medications. In some circumstances, assessment at the Emergency Department via ambulance may be required.