Allergy Shots for 5 Year Old

Updated on October 16, 2010
Z.Z. asks from Montgomery Village, MD
12 answers

My son has awful seasonal allergy and year-round dust mite allergies. The allergist recommended doing allergy shots, which are weekly for the first 6 months and then monthly for 3-5 years. I'm just not sure about putting him through that, but she thought it would help him become immune to his allergies, as well as avoid developing other allergies and asthma. Has anyone else put their young child through allergy shots? Is it really bad or become easier as time goes on?

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answers from Las Vegas on

My daughter was on allergy shots 2x per week for about a year. I didn't think it helped, but I continued it.

What I have done for myself is I eat local raw bees honey. I get it from a roadside stand about 60 miles from my house. It is expensive, but less expensive than the time off, doctor visits and meds. Whole foods has a version, but I don't find that it works as well. I have my boss and several other co workers eating this too and everyone feels it has done wonders.

One person said she wouldn't take it because it has not been processed and was afraid of botulism.

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answers from Washington DC on

my 19 year old has finally stopped taking them, after years of doing so. we started off twice a week and tapered off gradually to once a month.
they made a huge difference. it was a PITA to go there so often but well worth it in the long run.


answers from Austin on

My brother and I both have allergies. He had the shots when he was younger and seemed to do fine. I think it was just a couple of years of shots, and then he was fine for maybe 10 years, then the allergies started coming back. Overall I think it worked well for him.

I did not get the shots when I was younger. I don't know why my parents didn't consider it when it seemed to help my brother. Instead, I went through every kind of antihistamine trying to find one that worked. I went through lots of sore throats, contantly running nose, frequent sinus and tonsil infections, and was finally diagnosed with allergy-induced asthma.
Now as an adult I'm gettting the allergy shots. (plus I still need antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays daily). Maybe it would have been easier when I was younger. It's taking years longer than I expected to get up to the maximum dose, because I have a bad reaction if they increase it too fast.
If your son does get the shots, that's the thing to watch out for. The shot itself isn't that bad, depending on the skill of the person doing it. But if they increase the dose too fast, it can result in a hot swollen painful itchy lump that lasts for days.



answers from Washington DC on

I got allergy shot when I was younger; but not that young. They were a bandaid.
A temp fix. Now that I am in the holistic health field I know that more effective treatment exist and DO work better. First of all, scratch test are not the best indicator of allergies. Blood tests or hair tests. Secondly, food allergies play a big part and are connected to airborne allergies. I speak from first hand experience. I was told I was allergic to mold and ragweed. When I cut dairy out of my diet completely, no more airborne allergies. Also, acupuncture and chiropractic work very well to eliminate allergy symptoms and also address the underlying causes, as to help the body heal itself. I can suggest practitioner near Rockville if you contact me.
Hope this helps,



answers from Dallas on

There are holistic approaches as well! My husband is a pediatric/adult chiropractor in Mansfield and he works with these issues, without shots or strong medications, we have plenty of children who no longer have asthma attacks, allergy issues, etc.. If you are interested, Dr. Todd Elsner can be contacted at ###-###-####. We are in the process of moving and are actually having a special right now, first visit is on us!




answers from Washington DC on

I can't say what it would be like for a child to go through the whole allergy shot regimen, but I took the shots as an adult (for 3 years), and they worked extremely well for me. It might be better to get him through the shots now, because if his allergies get worse over time, he could develop asthma. And asthma is a life-long chronic condition that can be controlled, but it never goes away. As another poster wrote below, the needles are very tiny. He should be fine. I saw lots of kids at my allergists office getting their shots.

I'd also like to add this, as an asthma/allergy sufferer. Although the shots took care of my major allergies to dust mites, molds, pollens, and cat dander, I still absolutely can not be around strong artificial fragrances, especially spray and plug-in air fresheners. Those things send me dashing for my rescue inhaler! If you use them in your home, you might want to stop. It could be aggravating his problems.



answers from Washington DC on

My allergist has told me about my dust mite allergies that the shots only improve the dust mite allergy about 50% of the time. Seasonal allergy treatments are apparently quite effective though. I am still in the first 6 months which are the hardest, I guess (it's also quite expensive, on top of being kind of a hassle to get them). And not knowing if they will actually help my allergy at all is kind of tough. I recommend finding an allergy shot place that is VERY convenient for you to get to. I had no idea about the kind of time commitment it was before I signed up, and ended up switching allergists and being retested, what a hassle!

I had lung infection after lung infection as a kid. I wish I had known that I had dust mite allergies back then -- taking care of that issue would have likely saved me a LOT of trouble. And shots would have been the way to go -- oral antihistamines help, but they are definitely not enough for me.



answers from Washington DC on

My son, daughter and I all took the allergy shots. My son started when he was in 4th or 5th grade. My daughter was older and I WISH they had both been started on the shots when they were younger. They both had so many issues with allergies, sinus infections and so on. My son also had allergy induced asthma. We were all on so many medications - inhalers (two different kinds for my son), pills, chambers for the inhalers, etc. - I had a seperate bag for the drugs when we went anywhere - and then there was extra meds when anyone got a sinus infection) Once the allergy shots started taking effect - we ALL did better. The shots were not bad - needles are small and if you get a person who knows how to give a shot - then it is really nothing at all. My daughter and I took shots for about 4 years - my son took them for 5 years. For a long time during and after the shots NONE of us had any allergy problems. We have moved now from one part of the country to another and we all have some small issues with seasonal allergies BUT still NOTHING like the issues we had before the shots. I recommend the shots -make it fun for your son - give him a small treat or some reward after he is "good" while getting the shot.



answers from Cumberland on

The shots are tiny-relatively painless-and they do help desensitize the child to the allergen. Tell him it's ok to yell ouch when he is getting the shot-it's your comittment to taking him that is the hardest!


answers from Jacksonville on

My son is now on the "maintenance" part. He is 12, though, so probably handled the whole thing better than a younger child.

But know this: the needles are very small. Smaller than for all the vaccines, etc. So it really isn't as painful as you might think. My son gets 2 shots each time (one in each arm) as the allergen serums are divided into the ones he is most and least reactive to. We did the first part fast... he went twice a week all this past summer. Now he only goes once a week. This will continue for probably a year... then every 2 weeks for a while... then once a month. Total treatment time... somewhere around 2 years. Our doctor says that if they begin treatment when they are young (prior to adolescence really) that they won't need the treatments as long. If you wait until you are an adult it can take 4-5 years instead of 2.

It has helped a lot. We opted to start treatment for our son (and he agreed) when he had an asthma attack earlier this year, after having recovered 3 months prior from pneumonia. It just seemed like it would be an added level of "protection". Plus, the overflow of used tissues in the floorboard of my car was BEYOND ridiculous... and he wasn't sleeping well at night, even taking OTC meds (like Claritin and Zyrtec) due to the congestion.

Oh, and most Dr's office that do this for kids, will provide some form of "entertainment" in the waiting room for the kids... (they have to stay for about a half hour after the injections to watch for reactions). Ours has an Xbox & a Playstation and games in a smaller side room (off to the side of the "regular" waiting room) with gaming chairs and little flat screens on the wall. My son LOVES going to his allergy appts, b/c he & his sister get to play DonkeyKong while he's there.



answers from Honolulu on

... can't he take antihistamine pills?

I have seasonal allergies... AND Asthma... and this of course can affect me year round... I have been this way since childhood. My parents opted not to give me shots. But as needed... I take antihistamine pills... now it being Claritin. ONLY when needed. Then, I take my Asthma inhaler.... WHEN needed.

How would your son... handle, having to take shots... regularly... and for 3-5 years???? And weekly for the first 6 months????

My friend... has MANY allergies to foods AND environmental dust... her options were shots (like your son), or, taking Antihistamine pills... which for her, she toggles between Zyrtec and Claritin.... and inhalers... because it affects her lungs as well. She personally, did not want to 'have to' take shots... for years.

Also, if you have carpeting.. you might consider having only hard flooring and taking out carpeting. This is what my parents did.... when I was a child... since I had Asthma.

all the best,



answers from Norfolk on

I had allergy shots as a kid and they did a TON of good. I can now breathe and enjoy life as a result. I had them from about 3 or 4 years old till I was around 12 I think. I highly recommend them.

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