Allergies? Bless you!

allergies

Allergies? Bless you!

BY CHERYL HARBOUR

As your GRANDbaby progresses through the first year of life, tries new foods, and is exposed to more of the world, there’s a chance he or she may develop allergies.

You’ve seen reactions to allergies before – from watery eyes, runny noses and sneezes to rashes and hives to cramps and stomach upsets. Those problems are rather common and manageable. A more severe reaction — an anaphylactic response — where the tongue swells or the throat closes, is more serious and fortunately, much rarer.

Whether your new GRANDbaby develops allergies or not depends mainly on genetics. Children whose parents don’t have allergies have about a 12% chance of being allergic themselves. With one allergic parent, the likelihood is 30-50%, and if both parents have allergies, the chances are 60-80% the baby will too.

Allergies typically come from food, dust, mold, pollen, insect bites, pet dander, medication or latex. Research has shown that about 80% of all food allergies are caused by a small group of foods: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), wheat and soybeans. In children under age 1, the most common allergies come from milk and eggs.

Medical experts have changed their recommendations about the best ways to lower the chances of developing sensitivity to some common allergens.  The advice used to be to try to avoid exposure completely. The recommendation is now is to be aware of the family history, proceed carefully, and, with some substances – for example, peanuts and pet dander — expose children gradually, beginning at an early age, even as infants.

They agreed that exposing children to peanut products (not actual peanuts, because they pose a choking risk) at an early age (around 6 months) could actually lower the risk of a peanut allergy.

The shift is particularly dramatic when it comes to peanut allergies. For years parents dutifully followed the previous advice to avoid peanuts and peanut products for the first three years. But what happened was a significant upswing in peanut allergies. To resolve the confusion and disagreement about what course of action to recommend, The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases sponsored a conference involving the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. They agreed that exposing children to peanut products (not actual peanuts, because they pose a choking risk) at an early age (around 6 months) could actually lower the risk of a peanut allergy.

As your GRANDbaby progresses through the first year of life, tries new foods, and is exposed to more of the world, there’s a chance he or she may develop allergies.

You’ve seen reactions to allergies before – from watery eyes, runny noses and sneezes to rashes and hives to cramps and stomach upsets. Those problems are rather common and manageable. A more severe reaction — an anaphylactic response — where the tongue swells or the throat closes, is more serious and fortunately, much more rare.

Whether your new GRANDbaby develops allergies or not depends mainly on genetics. Children whose parents don’t have allergies have about a 12% chance of being allergic themselves. With one allergic parent, the likelihood is 30-50%, and if both parents have allergies, the chances are 60-80% the baby will too.

Allergies typically come from food, dust, mold, pollen, insect bites, pet dander, medication or latex. Research has shown that about 80% of all food allergies are caused by a small group of foods: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), wheat and soybeans. In children under age 1, the most common allergies come from milk and eggs.

Medical experts have changed their recommendations about the best ways to lower the chances of developing sensitivity to some common allergens. The advice used to be to try to avoid exposure completely. The recommendation is now is to be aware of the family history, proceed carefully, and, with some substances – for example, peanuts and pet dander — expose children gradually, beginning at an early age, even as infants.

They agreed that exposing children to peanut products (not actual peanuts, because they pose a choking risk) at an early age (around 6 months) could actually lower the risk of a peanut allergy.

The shift is particularly dramatic when it comes to peanut allergies. For years parents dutifully followed the previous advice to avoid peanuts and peanut products for the first three years. But what happened was a significant upswing in peanut allergies. To resolve the confusion and disagreement about what course of action to recommend, The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases sponsored a conference involving the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. They agreed that exposing children to peanut products (not actual peanuts, because they pose a choking risk) at an early age (around 6 months) could actually lower the risk of a peanut allergy.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Cheryl Harbour

youCheryl Harbour is the special editor of our “My GRANDbaby” section and author of Good to Be Grand: making the Most of your Grandchild’s First Year, a combination of up-to-date information and grandparently inspiration.

ORDER GOOD TO BE GRAND HERE!

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