Skip to main content Skip to navigation
We care about your privacy. Read about your rights and how we protect your data. Get Details

Coronavirus Update:What patients and families need to know

Pediatric Allergies

What are allergies?

Allergies are physiological reactions caused when the immune system reacts to a specific foreign substance (allergen) that has been inhaled, touched or eaten by a person.

Normally, the human body defends itself against harmful substances, such as viruses or bacteria, but, sometimes, the defenses aggressively attack usually innocuous substances such as dust, mold or pollen.

The immune system generates large amounts of the antibodies called immunoglobin E (IgE), to attack and destroy the supposed enemy. Each IgE antibody specifically targets a particular allergen — the substance that triggers the allergic reaction. In this disease-fighting process, inflammatory chemicals, such as histamines, cytokines and leukotrienes are released or produced, and some unpleasant, and, in extreme cases, life-threatening, symptoms may be experienced by an allergy-prone child.

Children's Team

Children's Team

Providers

Hemant Sharma

Hemant Sharma

Chief, Division of Allergy and Immunology
Director, Food Allergy Program
Departments

Departments

IMPACT DC Asthma Clinic

IMPACT DC Asthma Clinic is an award-winning pediatric asthma program in Washington, D.C., dedicated to improving asthma care and outcomes for children through clinical care, education, research and advocacy.

Allergy and Immunology

At Children’s National, children affected by allergies and complex immunologic disorders benefit from our specialists’ expertise, because our doctors treat children and only children with these conditions.

Invest in future cures for some of life's most devastating diseases

See other ways to give

Share your birthday with a child. Celebrate your life, and give a chance to someone who desperately wants to have as many as you.

Share your birthday with a child. Celebrate your life, and give a chance to someone who desperately wants to have as many as you. Make it happen