Behinds The Scenes – An Allergy Test (On Children)

If I can give you any advice about going to do a skin allergy test is that you shouldn’t do it.

The second bit of advice is that if you’re not going to listen to my first tip, now is the time to reconsider sending someone that is controlled in a “high pressure, kids are screaming and you can’t hold them down” kind of situation.  Not the kind of person that hides her face in their childs hair and laugh cries in panic…

Needless to say that in our situation, we chose badly.

Long story short – the girls were sick again.  For what I can accurately gauge as being the gazillion and oneth time in their little lifetimes.  We went back to the Doc and she recommended the skin allergy test, filled in the forms for Pathcare and sent us on our merry way.  She mentioned that the girls were old enough now, but she must have misunderstood me when I asked if it would hurt, because she said no.

After putting it off for a while, we finally made our way to the Pathcare rooms at our local hospital and waited patiently to be seen to.


When they were ready for us, the lady asked which one of the girls would be the best to start with.  I volunteered Kyla because she is hardy in that way, “compliant” for a lack of a better term.

I was instructed to sit on the chair and hold her on my lap.  She had to sit with her back to me, with her hands palm up on a big pillow on her lap.  The lady then numbered her arms, from 1 – 8 on her right arm and 9 – 16 on her left.  She then proceeded to put a droplet of each allergen next to the numbers.

Cool.  Easy peasy.

Then she took out a razor blade and I was like, “Uh, what is that for crazy lady?” and she was all like, “Don’t worry, we just have to pierce it into her blood stream with this little razor blade of death”.  Although I may be embellishing a bit.

Basically I had to hold her hand really tightly while the woman cut 15 tiny little holes into her arms with the blade.  It has to be said that Kyla was a flipping trooper!  She winced for the first 7 or so, but by the time they got to 11 there tears streaming down her little face.  No big explosion of pain, just fresh, hot tears pouring out of her eyes.

Not being prepared for this is probably the understatement of the year.  I had no clue what to do, so I did what any normal person would do and freaked the heck out.  Trying to calm her down with words of useless affirmation, that she was a big brave girl and that she was doing so well.  Only slightly talking to myself…

Then it was done.

Riya had already taken off her jersey and rolled up her selves, throwing around statements like, “I’m also going to be brave Mommy!” and “I’s not going to cry like Kyla!”.

So there she sat, with her game face on and her number 1 – 16 lined up with the little droplets on her arms.

The lady started with number 1 and by number 3 Riya was screaming, kicking and fighting so loud and hard that I thought the hospital might collapse.  It took both of us to keep her still.  I could only faintly hear the elderly couple in the stall next to us wonder what on Earth was happening.

I reverted to my awesome parenting tactics that usually accompany shock – promising milkshakes and sweets like the World was ending.  Because it kind of felt like it.


It was rough.

Kyla didn’t have half the amount of blood popping out like the above picture of Riya’s arms, but in the nurses defense, she was thrashing pretty hard and she’s incredibly strong when she doesn’t want to do something.

But she made it and despite causing some hearing loss to the nurse, she was a super brave girl too.

After it was doing the rounds through their blood stream, the nurse explained what she had put onto their skin.  We only tested for air born allergens and not foods that they ingest.  The 16 things, minus a few that I can’t remember (I’ll blame the shock) are:

  1. Grass
  2. Grass
  3. ?
  4. ?
  5. ?
  6. Dogs
  7. Cats
  8. Birds
  9. Bed bugs
  10. Bluegum tree (but they were out of this one)
  11. Mould
  12. Mould
  13. Mould
  14. Olive tree
  15. Cockroach poo
  16. Control (if this doesn’t flare up that means it’s not working)

We then had to wait about 15 minutes for it to develop enough of a reaction, then the “pimple” that formed was measured.  If it is larger than the control (roughly 5mm), then they have a proper allergy.  Riya had nothing more than 3mm and Kyla had a 13mm reaction to mould.  (Guess what we’ve been looking for all weekend).

Finally, everything was washed away, they were given their lollipops and we all had a milkshake to calm the shock.

And we all vowed to never, ever, never go there again!

15 thoughts on “Behinds The Scenes – An Allergy Test (On Children)

  1. OH my HAT! my husband had his done when he was about their age (before my time lol) and all these years later he can still remember it clearly 😦 and also vowed that he would never take any of our kids if they needed to have the test done.

  2. So do you know what, if anything, they are allergic too?

    I saw your photos and last friday one of the moms in my moms and babes class said her paed had said they may have to take her 7 month old!!!! I was so close to telling her not to but her baby has terribly excema and isn’t sleeping so she kinda needs answers!

    Shame man poor girls :((

    • Laura tell het not too. These tests arent accurate under the age of 4. Both my kids have extreme excema. Tell her to ask the dr for allercet syrup to give daily, stop all soap and wipes and use epizone for everything – but the stink one not the normal one. Sorry for hogging this comment. Just get so angry when docs advise this amd then knowbits not really helpful as there is no cure and a lifestyle chane has to be made and that can be done withoit pain.

  3. Oh Cindy, this looks totally barbaric! I am so sorry the kids had to go through it..I would have also been promising the moon in your position…..I bet there will be a lot of moms once reading this, will think twice of having this test done,,

  4. Yikes! That is pretty traumatic. I had one done a few years ago and at some point they put a plaster on my arm….that flared up almost double the size of the control. Turns out I’m amongst other things allergic to the glue on elastoplast.

    Brave brave girls you have there! Well done.

  5. Yowzers ! That sounds HECTIC!!!! We’re also waiting to check things out before going that route – Malakai is up and down with his sinuses and we’re not sure if it’s pets,dust,season change etc
    We are giving it time…. Shjoo brave mom and girls! They take after their awesome mom x

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