ABSTRACT: Allergic sensitisation usually begins early in life. The number of allergens a patient is sensitised to can increase over time and the development of additional allergic conditions is increasingly recognised. Targeting allergic disease in childhood is thus likely to be the most efficacious means of reducing the overall burden of allergic disease. Specific immunotherapy involves administering protein allergen to tolerise allergen reactive CD4+ T cells, thought key in driving allergic responses. Yet specific immunotherapy risks allergic reactions including anaphylaxis as a consequence of preformed allergen-specific IgE antibodies binding to the protein, subsequent cross-linking and mast cell degranulation. CD4+ T cells direct their responses to short "immunodominant" peptides within the allergen. Such peptides can be given therapeutically to induce T cell tolerance without facilitating IgE cross-linking. Peptide immunotherapy (PIT) offers attractive treatment potential for allergic disease. However, PIT has not yet been shown to be effective in children. This review discusses the immunological mechanisms implicated in PIT and briefly covers outcomes from adult PIT trials. This provides a context for discussion of the challenges for the application of PIT, both generally and more specifically in relation to children.