Food Allergy Center: What to Expect

Available Clinic Times

Clinic appointments are available Tuesdays and Wednesdays by referral only. To ensure you can be  seen, please ask your primary care physician to submit a referral. Children’s Medical Center Food Allergy Center accepts most major insurance plans. Primary Care Physician Referral Form.

Important First Visit Information

The first appointment can take an hour and a half to two hours. Your child will visit many specialists. This could include Dr. Bird, a Nurse Practitioner, a Nurse, a Dietitian, and a Fellow/Resident.

Your child should stop taking antihistamines such as loratadine (Claritin), cetrizine (Zyrtec) and fexofenodine (Allegra) one week prior to the FIRST appointment, and antihistamines such as diphenydramine (Benadryl) and hydroxyzine (Atarax) should be stopped 48 to 72 hours prior to the FIRST appointment. However, all other medications, including any asthma medications and nose sprays should  be continued as usual. Please bring your medications and bottles with you to your first visit.

The Diet Record

We ask our new patients to submit a diet record of what your child has been eating. The diet record is avaliable online under New Patient. We need to understand what foods your child has been eating or not eating during the week before your first visit. This information will provide us the tools we need to make your first visit extremely effective.

If Your Child has Asthma

It is important for you to let us know ahead of time if your child also has Asthma. We will want to coordinate a test with the pulmonary function lab during your visit. It is often difficult to coordinate a time for the pulmonary function test (PFT) so please call us at 214-456-2084 at least 24 hours ahead of your visit.

It is also helpful if you remind the check-in staff that your child has Asthma and will probably need a test with the pulmonary function lab.

Skin Test

Also, our Nurse may perform a skin test on your child. A skin test looks like this:

  • Nurse administers skin test (based on family history, PCP)

  • We wait for 15 minutes and measure the skin's reaction. This is called a wheel

  • You will then be sent to the lab for blood work

The lab work will take approximately one week for us to get back. After that time, your Care Team will review it and call you to discuss the results.

What’s Next?

At the end of the first visit, you and your child will be sent home with a full set of education. We will review foods to avoid, a food allergy action plan, and a "how to read labels" guide. If needed, a Dietitian will speak to you and your child at this point.

Some children will also need a Food Challenge. If your child is identified as needing a Food Challenge, a member of your Care Team will give you a call.

If we identify a food allergy, we will probably want to schedule a follow-up appointment in either 3 months, 6 months or a year. We would like to give you time to understand what’s working and what’s not working. A follow-up appointment is typically 30 to 45 minutes long.

If we do not find a food allergy, you may not need to come back or may be referred to another Children’s specialist.

Helpful Resources

Helpful Resources