We see children with known or suspected allergic or immunology conditions in our Allergy and Immunology Center.
You should plan to be in the Center for approximately two hours for your child's first visit. We know this is a lengthy appointment, but our goal is to complete the necessary testing, review the results to make a diagnosis, then develop and discuss a care plan with you all on the same day. This approach helps save time and reduces stress on you and your child. Occasionally, children will need to come back for further testing and follow-up appointments to review the response to the treatment plan.
Download the new patient questionnaire for your first appointment:
What to expect
When you arrive for your child's appointment, your family will be greeted by our front desk coordinators who will check you in and then transfer you to the nursing team. Our specialized medical assistants and nurses will weigh and measure your child, take their heart rate and blood pressure, and then escort you to an examination room.
An allergist is a physician specially trained to manage and treat allergic disorders and asthma. Because of their extensive study and training, an allergist is the best-qualified medical professional to effectively manage the comprehensive needs of patients with allergic disease.
The help of a trained allergist can reduce how often patients need to stay home from work or school due to symptoms. Studies show that those under the care of an allergist also make fewer visits to emergency rooms and are better able to daily manage their allergies and asthma.
Our allergists may recommend consultation with other pediatric subspecialists, such as immunologists, pulmonologists, gastroenterologists, gastrointestinal eosinophilic disease specialists, rheumatologists, otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat doctors) and dermatologists to your child's primary healthcare provider, if warranted.
An immunologist is a doctor who specializes in diseases of the immune system, which is a complex network of barriers, cells, enzymes, and proteins that help protect you from infection. If your immune system is not working properly, you may then be susceptible to infections, allergies, autoimmune conditions, and even some forms of cancer. Immunologists care for people who have inherent problems with their immune system, some of which may be inherited (genetic disorders).
Pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP)
A PNP is a registered nurse who has completed an advanced degree as a nurse practitioner, and has specialized in the care of children. A PNP is licensed to see patients for assessment, treatment and follow-up.
Family nurse practitioner (FNP)
An FNP is a registered nurse who has completed an advanced degree as a nurse practitioner, and has specialized in the care of the entire family. FNPs are licensed to see patients for assessment, treatment and follow-up.
Clinical nurse specialist
A clinical nurse specialist is a registered nurse who has advanced education and clinical training in a healthcare specialty area, such as cystic fibrosis. Clinical nurse specialists see patients in clinic for assessment, treatment and follow up.
Respiratory care practitioner
Respiratory care practitioners work to evaluate, treat and care for patients with breathing disorders, under the direction of a physician.
Registered pulmonary function technologist
Registered pulmonary function technologists (RPTs) perform diagnostic procedures in the pulmonary laboratory to assess lung function.
Clinical social worker
A clinical social worker provides emotional support, care coordination and resource assistance for families.
A dietitian provides consultation, evaluation and diet instruction to parents and children who are well or who need special therapeutic diets for chronic conditions, such as food allergies, Cystic Fibrosis, diabetes and the acutely ill.
Child life specialist
A child life specialist is a professional who is trained to help children and their families understand and manage challenging life events and stressful healthcare experiences. Child life specialists support growth and development, while recognizing family strengths and individuality and respecting different methods of coping. At Children's Hospital Colorado, child life specialists may assist with allergy skin testing to make the procedure more comfortable for your child.
Children who are experiencing breathing-related problems and are five years or older may have their lung function measured. Our care team will perform a simple breathing test that requires the child to blow out all of their air into a mouthpiece to measure their lung function.
During the initial appointment, some children who are being seen for allergic conditions may undergo skin prick allergy testing to help determine if there is a relevant potential inhalant (e.g., pollen/dander) or food allergen. While allergy testing may not be necessary for all patients we see, we do ask families to stop antihistamines five days before the appointment as they may be skin tested for allergies.
While skin testing is not painful, it may be perceived as uncomfortable and some children become anxious about the "skin pokes." With this in mind, we usually have a member of our child life team (at our Anschutz location only) available to support children during this process.
Learn more about what to expect during your child's allergy skin test (.pdf)
Depending on the reason for your child's visit, they may need to have blood drawn, which can be done in our lab by our care team members who are skilled at drawing blood from children.
We often use a medicine that can help make the blood draw less painful, upon request. We use data we gather from these tests, along with a thorough review of your child's medical history and a physical examination, to help us make an accurate diagnosis and develop a collaborative and individualized plan for your child's allergy and/or asthma care.
An appointment close to home
Your child's appointment can be scheduled at one of our allergy and immunology centers based on where you live. The schedulers will schedule your appointment as soon as possible. At the facility closest to your home, unless you prefer to be seen sooner at another site.
Please note that Gastrointestinal Eosinophilic Diseases Program (GEDP) team appointments are only available at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora.