Allergy & Asthma Clinic
The Allergy and Asthma clinics provide comprehensive outpatient clinical services for children with allergic diseases.
Care We Provide
We provide comprehensive outpatient clinical service for children with allergic diseases or problems, including:
- Allergic or non-allergic rhinitis
- Allergic reactions, including Anaphylaxis
- Asthma (including moderate to severe Asthma)
- Food allergies
- Urticaria, and more
- Access to Skin Prick Testing for food and environmental allergens
- Access to Pediatric Pulmonary Function & Exercise Stress Testing through our Medical Diagnostic Unit (MDU)
Referrals for vaccine-related reactions are triaged through a separate Special Immunization Clinic here at McMaster Children’s Hospital. A referral can be sent to (905) 521-2654 and addressed to Pediatric Infectious Diseases.
We do not accept referrals for:
- Asthma Education ONLY
- Drug/Medication (other than Penicillin), Venom allergies. These referrals should be sent to the Firestone Clinic at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton
- Food-specific oral immunotherapy. Please direct referrals for oral food immunotherapy to Dr. Douglas Mack/Dr. Mariam Hanna in Burlington, or, consult with a local community Allergist to inquire if oral food immunotherapy is offered.
What to Expect
How to prepare
We strive to provide comprehensive, family-centered, multi-disciplinary team care to our patients. Thus, the initial appointment is typically longer than follow-up appointments. Please prepare to be here for 1-2 hours (on average), especially if your child is booked for pre-visit pulmonary function testing.
Allergy skin-prick testing is often completed during the appointment. To avoid affecting the results, we ask that you have your child avoid antihistamines FIVE days prior to the appointment (e.g., Benadryl, Reactine, Claritin, Aerius). Allergy Skin-prick Testing involves introducing a small amount of the substance, or allergen onto the surface of the skin in the form of a “poke”. We utilize small devices called “Duotips” which are NOT needles. Skin-prick testing may be uncomfortable for your child. Please feel free to bring tools of distraction or items your child might find comforting.
What to bring
- Your child’s Health Card. The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care requires us to validate your health card at every clinic visit
- Any relevant test results (x-rays) or letters from your child’s doctor or pediatrician.
- Any notes or questions that you may have
- List of current allergies
- Medications, including aerochambers and puffers
When you arrive, please check-in at the reception desk. The Business Clerk will register you in the electronic system so that your team will know that you have arrived.
Please note: If your child is ill with any antibiotic resistant organism, MRSA, a communicable disease (such as Chicken Pox), or a respiratory infection, please notify reception staff prior to your scheduled appointment. Our clinic number is (905) 521-2100 x 78517.
Oral Food Challenges
Oral Food Challenge (OFC) involves the slow and cautious introduction of food into the child’s diet. If your child has a food allergy and is a current patient of ours, an OFC may be suggested to confirm the presence of an allergy. You and your child would have instructions and recommendations provided to you by your physician. Please review the documents prior to your child’s OFC appointment. Please contact your physician if you have any questions.
The referral process is made through a direct referral from a Doctor or Nurse Practitioner. Referrals can be faxed directly to the clinic. Click the link below to download our referral form.
Urgent Referrals: The clinics are not for emergencies. If your child needs to be seen on an urgent basis, please contact your family doctor or go to your local emergency department.
Wait list information: We strive to maintain a reasonable wait list for urgent and non-urgent referrals. However, we may re-direct referrals to community specialists as necessary, taking into account our wait list, patient location, and/or nature of concern.