Allergy testing handbook (Randwick)

An oral food challenge, is a process where food is eaten by your child in increasing amounts to accurately diagnose or rule out a food or medication allergy.

At Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, we perform the challenges under supervision, either in C1N, Medical Day Unit, level 1, or in the clinic if you are doing a parented food challenge.

Before you begin reading the handbook, here's the answers to some of your most commonly asked questions.

What if my child is unwell on the day of the challenge?

The food challenge may need to be postponed if your child is unwell.

If your child is sick or has required asthma reliever such as Ventolin the day before or on the day of food challenge, please contact the Allergy CNC on pager 47207 via switchboard 9382 1111. 

What if my child is a fussy eater?

Food challenge staff will support you feeding your child in food challenge. If you think that it is very unlikely for your child to eat the challenge food, please contact the nurses beforehand to discuss whether food challenge is appropriate for your child at this stage.

It's common for a food challenge to be postponed because the child refuses to eat.

We are unable to predict if this will happen, and we do not force feed children in food challenge.

What if I don't want my child to eat the food they are allergic to?

In general, we only recommend a food challenge if you intend to introduce the food to the child’s diet and if it is safe to do so. 

If you are not intending to introduce this food at home for any reason, please contact the nurses prior to attending to determine whether food challenge is appropriate for your child at this stage.

What if my child has had anaphylaxis in the last 4 weeks prior to the food challenge date?

We can’t proceed with your child’s challenge within 4 weeks of an episode of anaphylaxis.

Your child’s body is still in ‘high alert’ and it is not always safe to perform challenges at this time.

Please let us know via email and we will push your challenge back so that it has been more than 4 weeks. We will not put you to the end of the waitlist.

Contact the allergy and immunology service

Allergy outpatients: (02) 9382 1515 

Allergy email:

Immunology outpatients: (02) 9382 1515

Food challenge email:

Support organisations

The Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy provides more information about allergies and their management.

Last updated Monday 15th April 2024