Your Child's Food Allergy Center Appointment

Before your visit to the Food Allergy Center

  • You child should not take any antihistamines (allergy or cold medicines) for three days (72 hours) prior to their visit. Please see the list below. 
  • Make sure you know the name of the doctor and the location of the office before you leave the house. Ask anyone with a Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) identification card for help once you arrive at the Hospital. Having the name of your child's doctor and the office location will help us help you.
  • Write down a list of questions you want to ask the doctor. If your child is old enough, help your child add questions to that list too.

List of antihistamines

Medications to be held before new patient allergy appointments for skin testing

  • Actifed
  • Alka-Seltzer Cold
  • Alavert
  • Allegra
  • Astelin
  • Atarax  *hold 5 days
  • Atrohist
  • Benadryl
  • Bromfed
  • Cerose DM
  • Cetirizine
  • Chlorpheniramine
  • Chlor-Trimeton
  • Clarinex
  • Claritin  *hold 7 days
  • Codimal
  • Comtrex
  • Contac
  • D.A. II Tablets
  • Dimetane
  • Diphenhist
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Dristan
  • Drixoral
  • Duradryl
  • Extendryl
  • Efidac 24
  • Fedahist
  • Fexofenadine
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Hycomine
  • Kronofed
  • Loratadine
  • Naldecon
  • Nolahist
  • Nolamine
  • Novafed
  • Nyquil
  • Ornade
  • Pediacare Cough & Cold
  • Pepcid   **
  • Periactin
  • Phenergan
  • Robitussin Night Time
  • Rondec
  • Ryna Liquid
  • Rynatan
  • Rynatuss
  • Semprex
  • Sine-Off
  • Sinutab Sinus Allergy
  • Sudafed Cold & Allergy
  • Sinulin
  • Tagament  **
  • Tavist
  • Teldrin
  • TheraFlu
  • Triaminic
  • Triaminicin
  • Trinalin
  • Triotann
  • Tussen-D
  • Tussionex
  • Tylenol Allergy
  • Cold, Flu or PM
  • Vicks 44 Cough
  • Vicks Cold or Flu
  • Vistaril
  • Xyzal
  • Zantac  **
  • Zyrtec

Every antihistamine is to be held for 72 hours unless specified by a *.

** Hold for 48 hours after discussing with ordering physician.

Over the counter medications

Wording that indicates medicine that may contain an antihistamine.

  • Allergy
  • Cold
  • Flu

Prescription medications

There are many generics for the above medications. If the patient was prescribed an oral medication for cough or allergies that are not on the above list and you are unsure if it may contain an antihistamine, please ask the pharmacist or call our department at 215-590-2549.

Inhaled medications and nasal sprays EXCEPT ASTELIN do not contain antihistamines.

What to bring to the Food Allergy Center

A parent or legal guardian should accompany your child to provide an accurate history, consent and support for the child. If your child will be brought to her appointment by someone other than a parent or legal guardian, they must bring a letter of authorization (written permission).

The written permission must have the name of the patient, the name of the designated adult and a statement that there is no court order pending. It must be witnessed by two other adults (other than those already named on the written permission form).

  • If this is your child's first appointment, please arrive 30 minutes in advance of your appointment, as you will be asked to complete a New Patient Questionnaire. You can also complete the questionnaire via your MyCHOP account. If you do not have a MyCHOP account, please request an access code from your child's healthcare provider.
  • Bring information about your child's medical history:
    • Physician's name and phone number and the names and addresses of any physicians who should receive a follow-up letter from the CHOP doctor your child is seeing.
    • Medications that your child will need that day, as well as a list of medications and spacers your child uses. Bring medication instructions, dosages, etc.
    • Names and phone numbers of emergency contact persons.
    • List of your child's allergies.
    • Insurance information and referral forms. Remember that payment is due at the time of the visit.
    • Toys, books or schoolwork to occupy your child. There will be times when you have to wait.

Your child's evaluation at the Food Allergy Center

You should plan that your visit will take longer than you expect, especially if this is your child's first visit. The first visit will include:

  • Time for a history and physical examination
  • Selected tests and procedures (e.g., allergy skin tests or breathing tests in our office)
  • Discussion of your child's diagnosis
  • An outline of the treatment strategy and some educational materials

You should be sure you know the plan for your child's care before you leave the office. Will there be another appointment and when? Who do you call if you have questions once you get home? How will information get to your referring physician, another medical specialist, or your insurer? The members of your child's care team should be able to answer these and other questions you may have during your first appointment.

Follow-up visits with the Food Allergy Center

Your child's follow-up visit will include time for a history and physical examination. Depending on what was done during the initial visit, the follow-up visit may include selected tests and procedures (e.g., allergy skin tests or breathing tests in our office), discussion of your child's diagnosis, an outline of the treatment strategy and some educational materials.

If you are anticipating allergy skin testing during your follow-up visit, please refrain from giving your child any antihistamines for 72 hours. Please refer to our antihistamine avoidance list for more information.

Be prepared to update any information, such as your address, primary care provider and insurance information. If you have HMO insurance, remember to bring your referral. Your referral should be specific for what that visit will involve, such as skin testing, spirometry, allergy extract and injection.