Tuesdays are Your Turn – Kids’ Allergy Shots at Home

What’s proposed in today’s question would ease most of the inconvenience and probably some of the fear involved in weekly allergy shots for kids:

Can allergy shots be given at home to kids? I have an adult friend who, after some training of course, administers her own allergy shots at home. I asked the staff at DS’s allergist if this was a possibility, and they looked at me like I had 2 heads.

I am a nurse (LPN, almost RN) and understand what a reaction looks like (though honestly, I understand that more from my dealings with DS than from anything that I learned in school), so I don’t understand why they seemed to think it was highly dangerous to do it anywhere but in the office.

My understanding of what would happen, should he have a serious reaction in the office is that they would administer the Epipen (that I bring with me to every
allergy shot), give him some Benedryl, and call for transport/send me to the ER. I could do that at home!

Is there something that I’m missing here? Is it worth fighting for or searching for a pediatric allergist that will do this? Or is it simply not done with kids?
— Lpnmon

All other things being equal and assuming the training and some sort of liability waiver are in order, I’m guessing home allergy shots for kids would be more closely regulated – and possibly even restricted altogether – than giving the shots to yourself because a dependent’s involved. Then again, I’m not sure how giving your kid allergy shots is much different than, say, testing blood sugar and/or giving insulin to a child with diabetes. Or, for that matter, administering breathing treatments or oral steroids to a child with asthma.

But not having any experience with allergy shots myself, I don’t actually know. As usual, I turn to you:

Have you ever heard of anyone administering allergy shots to kids at home? Do you know if this is possible?

83 responses to “Tuesdays are Your Turn – Kids’ Allergy Shots at Home”

  1. Sarah says:

    No, I haven’t heard of it. I think it also might be for them to actually see what(if any) reaction you have to the vaccine and see whether or not your dosage has to be adjusted. My cousin went through allergy shots, and she said that one of the things they like to do is watch how you react to the shots… if you react too strongly, they know that they have to lower your dose for safety, while if you’re barely reacting at all, they know it’s probably safe to step you up. They adjust your dose of allergen slowly until you reach the maximum, backing off as needed when you react too strongly. But I was told that even if you’ve been on the high dose for a while, it may be necessary to step back for a bit.

    Where I live, anyone administering their own allergy shots is unheard-of.

  2. Samantha says:

    I actually got allergy shots as a child… at home. And this was well lets see 15ish years back? My parents took some training from the allergist people and then yeah they gave me the shots at home. I would assume a liability waiver was probably involved but id have to check with my dad to see if he remembers one. I do know that once i had been taught by her doctors, i managed my mothers pump and prior to that her insulin shots at home up until the day she was hospitalized and her subsequent death. It really wasnt particularly difficult, its a sub-q injection and allergy shots are the same way if I remember correctly. I dont see any good reason they cant be done at home, assuming training is given in how to inject and what warning signs to watch for following the injection.

  3. Amy says:

    Really. I had no idea such a thing was possible. And hopefully if your parents did it for you 15 years ago, maybe it’s an option for Lpnmon today….

  4. Samantha says:

    I would think so… they let us do them at home way back then lol. I dont remember what was required of my parents to get the ability, but I distinctly remember getting them on monday mornings before school. We did end up discontinuing them after about a year but that was because they werent helping me and had nothing to do with the at home status…. I think it did help me as the kid/patient be more comfortable because it was my dad and my own home and not the dr office every week.

  5. lpnmon says:

    Thanks for the input guys! Now begins the fun task of cold-calling allergists to find out if they do home shots and then comparing the list of those that do to the list from the insurance company!!

    I’m not getting my hopes up too too high though. I suspect that the current malpractice/reimbursement climate will make this a difficult search. But at least I know it was done at one time!

    Thanks for hosting my question Amy!

    -lpnmon

  6. Kat says:

    From what I’ve heard it’s against the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology standards to administer shots at home. Perhaps they would allow it at home since you are a nurse. Good luck finding a good allergist!!

  7. Allergy Mom at Home says:

    I currently give my child allergy shots at home and have for about 4 years. I did have to sign a waiver and received training after watching the shots being administered by the dr office for about a year. We are rural and live about an hour and a half from the dr office so maybe that was a decisive factor. It is possible, but good luck finding a doctor who is willing to release the serum.

  8. Amy says:

    Thanks for the input! If distance were a factor in your situation, hopefully Lpnmon might be able to make a case for herself as a nurse, as Kat suggests.

    Lpnmon–Given these comments, in your shoes I’d definitely try to make a few phone calls – even if it turns out to be a LOT of phone calls, lol.

  9. Samantha says:

    I actually knew a family who somehow managed to get the sublingual drops for their kid, but im not sure how since as far as i know its not generally done in the US. anyone have any info/insight on that?

  10. Tatum says:

    It is possable to give your child allergy injections at home. My 3yr old has to have the injections and I give them to him at home. I took my son to Allergy Arts and they have to give the 1st 3 injections at their office. When he had his 3rd injection at the office they showed me how to do it and I have been giving them every since.

  11. Amy says:

    Thank you!
    Lpnmon–Update us on your search whenever you can.

  12. Michelle says:

    I went to speak to an allergist today, and in two week having a allergy test. The nurse explained that during the “build up phase” (after six weeks starting the injections) they can teach the patients, or family member to give injections, and in the paper work it also states it. I have never had any experience with allergy shots, so I’m a little nervious about it, after reading about the reactions the allergy shots can do(not sure if I want to).
    But to answer your question, the allergist I went to will allow us to administer allergy shots to kids at home.

  13. Amy says:

    Thank you!
    After reading all this and if I were facing allergy shots for either of my kids, I’d search high and low for an allergist who’d let me administer them myself. Thanks again for your input, everyone.

  14. Monica says:

    I am a young adult who is getting regular allergy shots. For the first five weeks of getting them, I went into the doctor’s office to get them done. After that, I was trained on how to do them and have been self-injecting since then. I am also a nurse, so I know what to look for and how to correctly administer the shots. My doctor prescribed me EpiPen to keep with me in case I do have a reaction. I always have someone with me when I do the shots and for at least 30 minutes afterwards. That person knows how to use the EpiPen in case I need it. I am so happy I can do them at home. It is better than driving 20 minutes to the office, sitting there for 20 minutes, and then driving home another 20 minutes.

    I think allergy shots at home are fine as long as the someone is trained to give the shots and an EpiPen is prescribed to keep at home.

  15. Joe says:

    I will start administering allergy shots at home to my eight year old once his vials are ready to pick up. My doctor had no objection. I have been administering shots to myself at home for a couple of years now so know the procedure (the little guy obviously inherited his allergies from dad!). We do have EpiPens at home. I did have to be trained on the shots, including using the EpiPen. Once my doctor was satisfied I could cope, it was free sailing from that point on.

  16. Jessica says:

    Does anyone know of an allergist in league city/houston texas area that might allow me to be trained? Thanks!

  17. Deborah says:

    Jessica,
    I took my nephew to McGovern Allergy and Asthma Clinic in Houston about 8 years ago. He was 9 years old and they taught him to administer his own shot. He did immunotherapy for 5 years and never had a problem. They mailed us the vials every month since we don’t live in Texas. Good luck

  18. Jim says:

    At home allergy shots are not safe if the dose is appropriate. Most doctors that allow this dilute the shots to little more than saline. You won’t receive immune system change this way. Very simple.

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  20. Murray says:

    ENTs and GPs will allow you to do this, but not a board certified allergist. It’s not an approved method by their governing board. Two of my children and I are actually doing it right now. No issues whatsoever and without doing the injections at home, we probably wouldn’t have pursued treatment. Two of us have seen significant improvement and the other — I am still hopeful! And to Jim, it is indeed a full dose. Not watered down. It’s the same thing you’d get at the allergist’s office!

  21. Luke says:

    Allergy shoots at home is a normal thing around the world but not in the us. It’s really all about money. Just think each shoot you get is easy money for the office. The idea that it is to dangerous to do at home is just plan BS. Think of how many people give them selfs insulin shoots at and home and that is way more risky. with some traing and a Epipen this really is not a huge deal. Plus all a office is going to do is give you epipen and call a medic unit. You can do the same. Like I said its a America and its all about the money.

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