Allergy & Immunology

Pediatric allergy symptoms include sneezing

When it comes to asthma and allergies in kids (and conditions related to the immune system), Nemours’ highly trained and experienced pediatric allergy, asthma and immunology teams can help. Our goals are simple: To relieve symptoms as quickly as possible and give you the tools you’ll need to best manage your child’s allergy condition at home.

Read More About Pediatric Allergy & Immunology

Nemours’ pediatric allergists diagnose and treat asthma and all types of allergies in children, from hay fever to food allergies. Our immunologists (doctors who specialize in malfunctions of the immune system such as autoimmune diseases, hypersensitivities, immune deficiency and transplant rejection) have a high level of expertise in diagnosing and treating immune system conditions in children, such as immune deficiency.

We’ll perform a complete exam and ask about symptoms, severity and timing. And we’ll work closely with Nemours’ experts from other pediatric specialty areas to provide a long-term management plan tailored to your pediatric allergy, asthma, or immunology needs.

Common Pediatric Allergy Signs, Symptoms, and Conditions

Some of the reasons families like yours often come to us include:

  • wheezing
  • asthma
  • eczema (an itchy rash, also called “atopic dermatitis”)
  • hives
  • food reactions
  • allergies affecting the nose and eyes
  • allergies affecting the stomach and intestines
  • drug reactions
  • exercise intolerance
  • recurrent infections
  • recurrent cold-like symptoms
  • recurrent fever


Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Jacksonville

807 Children’s Way
Jacksonville, FL 32207
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Schedule a new patient allergy appointment.

For Appointments: (904) 697-3600

Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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How to Prepare
Before Your Child's Allergy and Immunology Appointment

Here are some important tips to follow before your child’s appointment with our Asthma, Allergy & Immunology team:

  • Stop all antihistamines, if possible, 7 days before your appointment — they interfere with skin testing. This includes medicines such as Zyrtec, Claritin, Clarinex, Allegra, Benadryl, Hydoxyzine, Periactin, Chlorpheniramine and most over-the-counter cold medicines.
  • Continue all asthma medicines, especially any inhalers. DO NOT STOP medicines such as Flovent, Advair, Singulair or Pulmicort.
  • If your child is on antidepressants, please call us because some antidepressants will interfere with skin tests. DO NOT STOP these medicines without speaking to us.

If you have questions, please call our office at (904) 697-3788.

What to Bring
  • photo ID
  • medical and pharmacy insurance cards
  • preferred pharmacy name and phone number
  • names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
  • guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
New Patients
  • Patient Registration (PDF)
Returning Patients
  • Release of Information (PDF)
    English | Spanish
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Forms & Resources
New Patient Forms
  • Patient Registration (PDF)
Returning Patient Forms
  • Release of Information (PDF)
    English | Spanish
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Resources for Patients & Families
Online Support Service
  • CaringBridge: visit this free site offering support and communication to help your family through your child's medical journey

At Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Jacksonville we do whatever it takes to make sure pediatric allergy, asthma and immune problems don’t slow your child down.

Our highly trained asthma, allergy, and immunology team diagnoses and treats all types of allergic and immune system conditions in children. If your child is experiencing asthma or allergy symptoms, we’ll work to relieve them as quickly as possible and give you the tools and know-how you need to manage ongoing care. And, if your child has an immune system disorder, we’ll use the most effective medicines and immunotherapy (such as allergy shots and target therapy) for treatment.


Our Pediatric Asthma Expertise

We have Jacksonville’s only comprehensive pediatric asthma care program, which incorporates teaching children and families about the disease with clinical programs developed by health professionals in both pulmonary medicine and allergy/immunology. Our program attracts some of the best children’s asthma and allergy specialists to practice with us.

At our partner, Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Nemours pulmonologists direct the asthma program, called the “Community Asthma Partnership at Wolfson.” Children who need to stay in the hospital go to Wolfson, located adjacent to our clinic.

Our asthma care team also works with other Jacksonville area hospitals to develop a standard asthma treatment plan for children who need to stay in the hospital. This helps ensure consistent care and helps standardize data collected to improve care.

Taking a Team Approach to Pediatric Allergies and Immunology

Our pediatric allergy, asthma and immunology team works closely with Nemours experts from other pediatric specialty areas including:

For children with asthma, our asthma care team (run jointly with the Pulmonology team) offers fully coordinated care, providing your family with the tools you need to successfully manage the disease.

Nemours’ immunologists specialize in malfunctions of the immune system (such as autoimmune diseases, hypersensitivities, immune deficiency and transplant rejection).

Our teams fully communicate with each other and with you, so that every member has the very latest information. And all of your child’s care team members have access to our award-winning electronic health record system (EHR), which allows your child’s caregivers to securely communicate and share medical information about your child quickly and efficiently.

Through our EHR, your child’s care team members can view clinical notes, lab results, other test results and your child’s medical history on their computers simultaneously at any time — so that everyone’s always on the same page about your child’s care. Also you have your own online access  to your child’s medical records 24 hours a day, seven days a week at MyNemours.

Partnering With You to Help Manage a Pediatric Allergy Condition

We know that no one knows your child better than you do — and that you’re one of the most important parts of your child’s care team. That’s why we make every effort to include you in the process and to create a close relationship with you and your child.

We’ll make sure you understand:
  • how your child’s allergy or asthma is triggered
  • how to avoid those triggers (or allergens, which can cause or worsen asthma or allergy symptoms)
  • what treatment options are available
  • how to use any treatment devices we may prescribe (such as inhalers or epinephrine injectors)
  • how you and your child can best manage the condition, every day

Our nurses and respiratory therapists also are available to answer any questions you or your child may have.

What to Expect at Your Child’s Pediartic Allergy Visit

At your first visit, our board-certified doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners will perform a complete medical and family history assessment, as well as a comprehensive physical exam. We’ll also ask many questions about your child’s symptoms, their severity, and timing. (For example, do they appear or tend to get worse at a certain time of the year, after eating a certain food, or during exercise?)

Based on our findings, and to help diagnose your child's problem, we may then perform further tests, such as:

  • Skin testing: Lightly scratching the skin with a potential allergen (a substance that can cause an allergic reaction, such as  pet dander, dust, pollen, and foods) and then evaluating the skin’s response
  • Patch testing: Applying various adhesive patches that each contain a potential allergen to the skin and then checking the skin’s reaction 48 hours later
  • Food challenges: Feeding your child small amounts of a food suspected of being an allergen in the presence of a doctor, who can evaluate and, if necessary, safely counteract any allergic response. (We only do this if we’ve determined it’s safe for your child. This kind of testing should never be done at home.)
We also may order:
  • tests for drug allergies (allergies to various medicines)
  • blood tests that check for specific antibodies (cells made by the immune system in response to certain allergens)
  • tests that evaluate the overall function of the immune system
  • breathing tests, chest X-rays, and other diagnostic evaluations to check your child’s lung function
Frequently Asked Questions About Skin Testing
Q: Does it hurt?

Skin testing may sound scary, but it’s actually pretty simple and painless. Small plastic applicators are used to scratch the skin’s surface with the allergens. There might be some itchiness that goes away quickly.

Q: How do you know which allergens to test for?

Your child’s medical history will help your doctor or nurse determine which type(s) of skin testing your child might need.

Q: Where does my child have to go for skin testing?

The testing is usually done in our office. A nurse generally administers the test and your doctor interprets the results.

Q: How long does it take?

Testing typically takes between 30 and 60 minutes. Tests usually detect immediate allergic reactions, which develop within minutes of exposure to an allergen.

Q: Where on the skin is the testing done?

The tests will be applied to your child’s forearm or back, depending on your child’s age.

Q: How is the testing done?

The nurse will then apply drops of allergen extracts (pet dander, dust, pollen, foods, etc.) on your child’s skin. These will then be scratched into the skin's surface. After we’ve looked over the test results, the nurse or doctor will talk to you about what the allergies are and how to best avoid the related allergens.

If you have any questions or concerns before or after skin testing, please call our allergy nurses.

What You Should Know About Patch Testing

For testing that needs a longer time period (days instead of minutes), we’ll use patch testing.

Here’s how it works:
  1. We’ll apply the patches onto your child’s skin, usually on the back.
  2. We’ll place patches with suspected allergens onto your child’s back and secure them with tape.
  3. Your child will then need to wear the patches for 48 hours. Showers, swimming, and strenuous activity should be avoided so the patches stay in place. (Sponge baths are OK, as long as the back is not disturbed.)
  4. Your child will then come back to see us at or after 72 hours to have the patch testing area read.
Can Kids With an Egg Allergy Get Vaccines?

Most types of influenza vaccine contain a very small amount of egg protein, so before giving it health providers ask if you are allergic to eggs. But does being allergic to egg mean you should not get the vaccine?

Recent studies have shown that even individuals with confirmed egg allergy can safely receive the flu vaccine. The Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology and the American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics state that no special precautions are required for the administration of influenza vaccine to egg-allergic patients no matter how severe the egg allergy.  The normal precautions for giving any vaccine to any patient should be followed, namely recognizing that about one in a million doses of any vaccine results in a serious allergic reaction, and vaccine providers should be prepared to recognize and treat such reactions.

To the Point:

Studies show that flu vaccines can be safely administered to egg-allergic individuals.

Common Signs, Symptoms and Conditions We See
Some of the reasons families often come to us include:
  • wheezing
  • asthma
  • eczema (an itchy rash, also called “atopic dermatitis”)
  • hives
  • food reactions
  • allergies affecting the nose and eyes
  • allergies affecting the stomach and intestines
  • drug reactions
  • exercise intolerance
  • recurrent (reoccurring) infections, cold-like symptoms, or fever

Whether your child has asthma, an allergy or an immune system condition, know that at Nemours we do whatever it takes to give your child the very best, most comprehensive and compassionate treatment possible. We treat every child as we would our own – your child, our promise.