Will my baby have the same allergies as me?

Navigating life with allergies, from meticulous label-reading to pre-checking restaurant menus, becomes a well-honed skill. As an expectant mother, the question naturally arises: “Will my baby have the same allergies as me?” It’s a common concern among moms-to-be, which can feel worrying. 

We wanted to give you some peace of mind that it doesn’t have to feel that way. 

The reality is that allergies can have the potential families. If you’ve been careful to avoid certain things to stay allergy-free, you might be wondering if your little one will face the same challenges.

The honest answer is perhaps…but there’s no real hard or fast rule to say they will either way. It depends on two major factors.

Nature

Understanding allergies and how they’re passed down is like a family recipe. Your genes are the ingredients, and yes, they play a part. If one parent has allergies, there’s a higher chance your baby child might, too, and it’s even higher if both you and your partner have them. But it’s not a guarantee. While genes play a significant role, they’re not the only influence factor as to whether or not your baby will have allergies. 

Nurture

The environment your baby grows up in matters, too. Exposure to allergens can either build up protection, making allergies less severe or delayed or rendering them more sensitive later on. It’s a delicate dance between genetics and surroundings.

What does this mean for you as a parent? 

For parents, it’s a balancing act. While you can’t predict allergies, taking a test to identify potential triggers can provide peace of mind. Raising your child while being mindful of signs of allergies, especially in the early years, is a proactive approach. If allergies do emerge, it’s not anyone’s fault; it’s the result of the intricate interplay between nature and nurture.

Signs your baby might have an allergy 

Any child can develop allergies at any time, whether you or your partner have them or not. Sometimes, they’re just fleeting as your little one is growing. Cows’ milk, for example, is something a high percentage of infants are allergic to. Over 90% of children will become tolerant of milk by age 6.

The best you can do to manage symptoms is first to be aware of them:

  • hives or rashes
  • itching
  • wheezing or shortness of breath
  • red, itchy, and/or watery eyes
  • coughing and/or wheezing
  • runny nose
  • sneezing

If you notice these symptoms, it’s time to take action. By taking a test, you can figure out precisely what might be causing the issues, and with guidance, you’ll have an action plan to help you manage the symptoms. Armed with this info, you can create a home that’s comfy and safe for your little one.

As you step into this journey of parenthood, know that you and your child, with a bit of help from our in-house paediatrician, will figure it out together. Many parents fear the process of diagnosis and worry about what comes next. 

Your concerns about your baby’s health are entirely valid, but facing allergies with infants isn’t as daunting as it seems. At our London-based allergy and immunology centre, we understand that the well-being of your baby is your top priority. Our experienced paediatrician is here to provide compassionate support and guidance. If you suspect your baby has a cow’s milk allergy or if you’re unsure about the symptoms you’re witnessing, register as a new patient today and let’s start the process of helping your baby feel better.

 

Does my baby have an allergy to cow milk?

Parenthood is a journey filled with wonder and joy, but it also comes with its fair share of concerns and challenges. “What does that cry mean?” “Am I doing it right?” “What’s that rash?” These are just some of the many questions you may have already antagonised over as a new parent. “Does my baby have an allergy to cow milk?” is up there too. 

Having an allergy to cow’s milk is common in babies.  Especially when they’re bottle-fed. In the first year of life between 1.8% and 7.5% of infants are reactive to the protein. The good news is, it’s not always an issue for life. By age 3, more than 75% of children will have outgrown their milk allergy, and over 90% of children will become tolerant of milk by age 6.

Recognising the symptoms

Most allergies or intolerances will show up similarly. If you notice signs of colic (excessive crying when you can’t for the life of you figure out why), vomiting, diarrhoea, eczema, and extreme fussiness, it could be a sign that something is causing your baby discomfort. It can often take time for these symptoms to appear and they gradually worsen.

Test for the issue

Once you spot that there is an issue, the next best step is to test to understand the cause of the issue. It could be an allergy to cow’s milk, or it could be something else. Once you are able to identify the cause of the issue, you can take steps to help your baby feel better. 

What the future looks like when your baby has a cow milk allergy 

Many parents fear the process of diagnosis and worry about what comes next. Your concerns about your baby’s health and potential cow’s milk allergy are entirely valid but management isn’t as daunting as it seems. Managing a cow’s milk allergy in an infant often involves a change to their diet. Rather than relying solely on online sources or self-diagnosis, it’s better to get expert advice so that you can better plan what’s next. A qualified paediatrician will guide you on suitable formula options, breastfeeding techniques, and the introduction of solid foods that are free from cow’s milk that give your baby a better quality of life. 

At our London-based allergy and immunology centre, we understand that the well-being of your baby is your top priority. Our experienced paediatrician is here to provide compassionate support and guidance. If you suspect your baby has a cow’s milk allergy or if you’re unsure about the symptoms you’re witnessing, register as a new patient today and let’s start the process of helping your baby feel better.

allergies in your newborn baby

Can you prevent allergies in your newborn baby?

Being the parent of a newborn baby can be a stressful time. Wrapped up in that bundle of joy is the worry about their health. One thing in particular that has gripped parents is the fear of a deadly food allergy or anything else they might be allergic to.

And it’s no surprise; it’s believed that 1 in 4 people in the UK have an allergy at some point in their lives. This is part of a wider trend of more and more people being diagnosed with allergies. It’s estimated that food allergy cases have risen by 50% in the past decade. But is there any way to prevent allergies in your newborn baby?

The mother’s diet

Some advice that you might see thrown about is to restrict what you eat while you’re pregnant. You would stop eating food that your child could be allergic to, such as peanuts, eggs, or dairy. This advice is false. There is no strong evidence that restricting what you eat will help your baby avoid allergies. This goes for after the birth when you’re breastfeeding – eat away!

Breastfeeding

Speaking of which, you should breastfeed your baby if you can, for at least the first six or so months, if not well beyond that. It isn’t likely to cause an allergic reaction in your infant and has great benefits to their immune system. It also has benefits for the mother and is a great way to build a strong bond with your new child. As for how it affects allergies, it’s not big enough to cause concern; you can’t pass your allergy down through the milk.

Introducing new foods

The right time to introduce solid foods to your child is at about six months old. If they can support their head, they should be fine with new foods. They shouldn’t be completely solid; try mushed-up food, pastes, or other popular baby food. Some say you shouldn’t introduce likely allergy triggers such as peanuts, eggs, or dairy, but research actually shows the opposite.

It recommends giving them to your child when they’re used to more solid food, trying one at a time. Delaying feeding them to your baby might actually increase the likelihood of them developing an allergy.

Asthma

It’s not a food allergy but is a common ailment in children, affecting 1 in 11 kids. To give your child the best chances of avoiding it, you should keep asthma triggers away from them if you can. This might mean taking the carpet out of their bedroom and using wooden or wood-effect floors to remove dust mites. Regularly wash their bedding and pillows (at least once a week). And this one goes without saying – don’t smoke around them.

If you’re scared about your child’s health, don’t be. By being sensible, you can make sure your baby has a normal life. If you ever have any allergy concerns, get in touch with your doctor for their expert advice. Just give your child the best life and if they do ever develop allergies, you can follow the advice in some of our other blogs.

Your child can still live a normal life with an allergy. If you want to talk to an allergy specialist, reach out to us on 02031 433 449.

Allergy testing for babies and children

Parenthood is full of surprising twists and turns. Some are more enjoyable than others. Whether you’ve welcomed your first child or recently added to your family, the stress and worry of keeping them safe, happy, and healthy never seem to get easier. While occasional crying is normal, persistent distress can be heart-wrenching, mainly when your little one can’t express what’s bothering them.

Discomfort might be a natural part of their growth. But sometimes, it might be something more. It could be that your child is developing an allergy or an intolerance.

If this is the case, don’t worry; allergies and intolerances are common. 50% of children in the UK have one or more allergies. While it can seem scary, your child can live a perfectly normal and comfortable life with the right methods, prevention, and treatment. We understand parents of children with allergies often report feeling stressed, but we’re here to offer support and guidance to give you peace of mind.

Let’s explore if what your little one is experiencing is a reaction.

Allergy symptoms in babies

Often, allergy symptoms are respiratory and skin-related. If your child is experiencing an allergy, you’ll likely notice:

  • sneezing
  • a runny or blocked nose
  • red, itchy, watery eyes
  • wheezing and coughing
  • a red, itchy rash
  • developing and worsening of asthma or eczema symptoms

 

Intolerance symptoms in babies

Intolerance symptoms are often more seen in their tummies. If your child is experiencing an intolerance, you’ll likely notice the following:

  • diarrhoea
  • vomiting
  • stomach rumbling and pains
  • wind

Most allergies or intolerances are mild, but occasionally, your child might experience a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis. This is likely when your little one is struggling to breathe. If this happens, please call 999. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and requires urgent treatment.

 

How can we help you with your child’s allergies?

Our in-house paediatric allergy consultant is experienced in helping babies, children, and parents navigate allergies. From testing to recovery, they’ll be with you every step of the way to get your little one feeling back to their usual, happy selves. Allergies in infants can be diagnosed in a few ways. The most common is child-friendly skin prick allergy testing. It’s quick, painless, and effective. The blood allergy test checks 112 common allergenic proteins in one go. When you can understand the cause of your child’s allergies, you can explore the best treatment and management options moving forward.

 

What could the problem be? 

There are several different types of allergies your infant might be experiencing.

 

Skin conditions in babies

With some allergies, symptoms appear on the skin in rashes, hives, and other signs such as eczema. Atopic (Allergic) eczema is extremely common in children. About 20% of children suffer from eczema at some point in their lives, with eczema in babies developing between the ages of two and five months. The symptoms are easy to spot: patches of red, dry, and itchy skin on the face, behind the ears, elbows, knees, and neck. When we can diagnose eczema, we can identify probable triggers and work with you to make your baby’s skin clean and itch-free. About 50% of children with eczema in the first few months of life develop another allergy by age 2, so it’s essential to understand what does and doesn’t affect your child. Infants and young children with moderate to severe atopic eczema may also develop a food allergy.

 

Food allergies in children

On average, one in seven children has a food allergy. If you think about your wider family, nieces, nephews, and then school friends, it is expected that a few of them are likely to have a food allergy. If that’s your child, that’s ok. Food allergies can be more severe in toddlers, so it’s worth watching. The common allergies are hen’s egg, cow’s milk, soy, wheat, and peanuts.

 

Respiratory allergies in infants 

Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever) affects up to 40% of children. Hay fever affects explicitly 1 in 4 people. As well as being uncomfortable, most children with allergic rhinitis suffer from sleep challenges. As we know, sleep is critical to their development as well as general health, so getting on top of Allergic Rhinitis is crucial to overall well-being.

 

Asthma is another factor to consider. Although not an allergy, allergies often trigger asthma, especially in children. Younger asthmatics have an even higher incidence. A child is admitted to the hospital every 20 minutes because of an asthma attack. Something we’d like to help reduce.

 

Insect and venom allergy in children 

Bees, wasps, ants, and other creepy crawlies, while fascinating to our youngest, carry a risk of a reaction. Thankfully, children under twelve have a lower risk than adults of recurring generalised reactions, but staying safe with a test is still a good idea.

 

How do I get started?

Getting started is easy. Start your journey today by registering as a new patient. We’ll handle the rest for you. Together, we can understand what’s causing your infant discomfort and take positive steps to a better way of life.

Appointments can be booked via Online Appointment System

allergies in babies

Everything new parents need to know about allergies in babies

Being a new parent is sure to bring about a million new questions. You suddenly have a baby to look after and figuring everything out is, frankly, overwhelming. And one area that many parents worry about is allergies – especially food ones.

Around 5% of children under the age of 5 have a food allergy. So the odds of your child having one isn’t out of the question. But what do you do? How do you even know? We know you’ll have burning questions just like these, so let’s jump into an FAQ about allergies in babies.

What causes food allergies in babies?

No one really knows why our bodies suddenly decide to be allergic to something. This means it’s hard to really explain what causes them. What we do know is that babies usually have to be exposed to the food first. For example, they might eat it once and be okay, but react the second time.

NHS advice is to introduce potentially allergen-risky food solely and in small amounts. This allows you to see if there’s any reaction without harming them.

What are the most common food allergies?

There are about nine common categories of food allergies. These are the most common ones you’ll come across:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Wheat (or other foods with gluten)
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Sesame (and other seeds)
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

How can you tell if a baby has a food allergy?

There are some common symptoms you might want to look out for. Food allergies usually happen within a few minutes of ingesting them. Some telltale signs include:

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Coughing or trouble breathing
  • Red rashes
  • Worsening of asthma or eczema symptoms
  • Anaphylaxis

You can tell when an anaphylactic shock occurs because the baby will have trouble breathing, may lose consciousness, and have a weakened pulse. This is a less likely symptom, but one that can be fatal.

What to do if they’re allergic?

The best advice is talk to your GP/your baby’s doctor and see what they recommend. They might go the route of a specific diet or advise you to stay away from certain foods. They should also be able to help you adjust to these new restrictions.

How do you keep your baby safe?

Follow any advice given to you by your baby’s doctor. At home, you’ll want to remove any food that contains something they’re allergic to. Check ingredients thoroughly as many of them can be in food without you realising.

We have plenty of blogs you can read as well. These will give you some more advice on how to adapt your lifestyle. We have some tips on what you can do, four facts worth knowing, and some advice worth having.

Other than that, maybe consider finding an allergy specialist to help. They’ll be specifically tuned into how best to handle any lifestyle changes. And they’ll more keenly understand your concerns and the appropriate treatment.

If you need an allergy specialist, whether it be for you or your child, get in touch with us. Our experts are always happy to help a parent in need. Register as a new patient here or call us on 02031 433 449.

cow’s milk allergy

New study suggests cow’s milk allergy might not be as common as we think

It’s not surprising that parents are a bit on edge when it comes to their children’s health. For parents of newborns, it’s an even more anxiety-inducing time. And food allergies are certainly something they should take seriously.

One we often see in newborns is cow’s milk allergy. Depending on where you look, it affects between 1 and 7% of babies, with most outgrowing it by the age of 5. But one new study has found that guidelines may be leading to an overdiagnosis of cow’s milk allergy.

The study

Research coming out of the University of Bristol has found that symptoms associated with cow’s milk allergy are extremely common in infants. This isn’t to say that three-quarters of newborns have the allergy, rather that these are symptoms you tend to see in most babies anyway.

Guidelines to diagnose delayed cow’s milk allergies say to look for posseting (bringing up milk), vomiting, colic, loose stools, and eczema. But the researchers found that one in four parents reported two or more of these symptoms any month. Even in babies being breastfed, thus not having any cow’s milk.

The study used data from 1,303 newborns between three and twelve months.

What does this mean?

This means some children may be misdiagnosed with cow’s milk allergy when the symptoms they’re experiencing are actually normal. Dr Rosie Vincent, who led the research, said: “Guidelines designed to help the non-specialist to diagnose cow’s milk allergy in infants may unintentionally medicalise normal infant symptoms and promote over-diagnosis of cow’s milk allergy.”

Adding to this, senior co-researcher Dr Michael Perkin said: “Parents of young infants are often seen in clinics, worried about a medical cause for their infant’s symptoms such as colic, bringing up milk or loose stools. However, our research confirms that these symptoms are extremely common. In an otherwise healthy infant, an underlying cause is unlikely.”

This just goes to show how important it is to talk to an allergy specialist. They will have a much keener insight into the nature of conditions such as cow’s milk allergy. So if you ever have any concerns with your newborn, talk to an expert.

The team of specialists at London Allergy and Immunology Centre are always ready to help you with any concerns you may have. Register as a new patient today or call us on 02031 433 449.

allergy myths

Three common allergy myths you should know about

Dealing with allergies isn’t easy. From mildly inconvenient to life-changing, they’re tough to deal with. But when you’re constantly hearing misconceptions and myths about them, it makes it all so much harder. 

One person is telling you one “fact” and someone else tells you something different. It can feel exhausting and sometimes even be dangerous. It’s important to know what’s true and what’s just a bit of an old wives’ tale. So here are three common myths about allergies that we want to clear up.

“A peanut allergy is the most dangerous one”

With how much you hear about them, some people have come to believe that peanut allergies are the most dangerous type of allergy. But this isn’t true. 

While yes, some people can go into anaphylactic shock from them, many people just have mild reactions to peanuts. There’s a wide spectrum of reactions, and other allergies are no different. Some can have life-threatening reactions to, for example, pet dander. Allergies come in varying degrees, so one type of allergy isn’t necessarily worse than others.

“Local honey will help my hay fever”

It would be a lifesaver if it was true, but there’s no evidence that honey helps improve hay fever symptoms. The idea is that, by eating local honey, you’re eating local pollen. And by eating local pollen, you become less and less sensitive to it. 

But sadly, a 2002 study showed no difference in patients who were treated with local honey, processed honey, and a honey-flavoured placebo. 

“My baby won’t have allergies because it’s not in our family history”

Babies are more likely to develop allergies if both their parents have allergies, that’s true. But babies aren’t immune from allergies just because there’s no family history of them. In fact, 12% of children with allergies have no family history at all. Anyone can develop one and at any time in their life. 

With so many myths about allergies out there, we wouldn’t blame you for being confused about them. But dealing with them shouldn’t have to be difficult. If you’re struggling or looking for advice, get in touch with a professional who knows fact from fiction.

Need help controlling your allergies? Get in touch with London Allergy & Immunology Centre. Our team of professionals is ready to help you manage your allergies and regain control of your life. Call us now on 02031 433 449.

food allergies in babies

The three most common food allergies in babies

Up to 6 percent of children have some kind of food allergy. That might not sound like a lot, but with 12 million children in the UK, that means 720,000 are allergic to one food or another.

It can be a scary time as a parent. You might feel as if you have to keep your eye on your child at all times. There are plenty of things they might be allergic to, but here are the three most common food allergies in babies.

Cow’s milk (CMA)

A cow’s milk allergy affects up to 7% of babies under one-year-old. Though, according to the NHS, most children outgrow it by the time they’re five. This allergy usually develops when cow’s milk is first introduced into the baby’s diet. CMA symptoms include rashes, coughing, and diarrhoea, and in severe cases, it can be life-threatening.

Eggs

Like CMA, children can grow out of egg allergy. Your baby may have allergic reactions to all eggs (no matter how they’re cooked) or only to raw eggs (found in cake mix and mayonnaise). Symptoms include rashes, hives, and congestion.

Peanuts

1 in 50 children have an allergy to peanuts. But there might be good news on the horizon – peanut allergy numbers seem to be dropping. This is based on changes to child diet guidelines and is based on research that says introducing peanuts at a young age can actually reduce the chances they develop an allergy. Though the researchers do stress that more study is needed before we can truly be sure.

Allergens can be found in the most unusual of places. Did you know traces of egg can be found in vaccines for yellow fever and the flu? This is just one of the reasons it’s so important to know if your baby has any allergies. There are a lot of struggles as a new parent; don’t let trying to figure out your baby’s allergies on your own be one of them. Talk to a doctor today about your children.

At Allergy Clinic London, we believe allergies shouldn’t interrupt your life. To get some expert advice, contact us today on 02031 433 449.

suspected allergies

Dos and don’ts for suspected allergies

Do you get an itch in your throat after eating a particular food? Or do your hands get red, itchy, and flakey sometimes, but you aren’t sure why? Then you could have an allergy. 

Many people think if they ignore it, it’ll go away or they’ll get used to it. But this is a bad idea. Allergies can worsen and disrupt your life. Here are some dos and don’ts for if you suspect you have an allergy.

Don’t ignore it

It may be tempting to avoid symptoms, especially if they’re mild or only occur every so often, but allergies can worsen over time. Allergies to food, latex, and bee stings can get worse with exposure. A once harmless reaction could one day result in an anaphylactic reaction, so it’s best to take action as soon as possible.

Do get a test

The only way to know for certain that the symptoms you’re experiencing are caused by an allergy is to get tested. A test will tell you exactly what you’re allergic to so you can effectively avoid it and prevent flare-ups.

Don’t assume you’ll grow out of it

Allergies can sometimes pass or lessen in severity with time, but this isn’t always the case. While there are cases where children and babies have grown out of their allergies, it’s more likely that adults find they suddenly had allergies they didn’t have before.

Do learn about your allergy

You may be surprised to hear that allergens are in the least likely of places. For example, some vaccines contain egg, some marshmallows may contain selfish, and some sausages and processed meats may contain dairy. If your allergy is new to you, it’s worth being more cautious about what you put into your body.

Do take precautions 

In the case of allergies like pet dander or pollen, you can prepare for symptoms to make them more manageable. If hay fever season is creeping up, talk to your doctor about taking antihistamines. If you’re allergic to dust mites, it may help to use hypoallergenic bed sheets. It’s much more effective to stop an allergic reaction before it happens than to try to medicate it once it’s begun.

If you suspect you have an allergy, see an allergist. They’ll be able to give you expert advice on how to manage symptoms, improving your quality of life. Getting a test also puts your mind at ease and makes it easier for you to avoid triggering allergic reactions.

If you suspect you have an allergy, put your mind at ease. Book a test with Allergy Clinic London today on 02031 433 449.

Milk allergy

Is it lactose intolerance or a milk allergy?

Being a parent has its challenges. The additional worry of your child having an allergy or digestive problem is just extra weight on our shoulders. And to add to that, these problems can be hard to identify. 

Lactose intolerance and milk allergy seem so similar. They both cause some unpleasant symptoms. And in both cases, dairy products are to blame. You might even think they’re the same condition. But how do they differ from one another?

What happens in the body?

Lactose intolerance is a common digestive problem where the body cannot digest lactose – a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. While unpleasant, lactose intolerance is not an allergy or life-threatening.

A milk allergy is an abnormal response from the immune system. It mistakenly identifies certain proteins in milk as harmful. An allergic reaction to milk can range from mild, irritating symptoms to anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening. Fortunately, according to the NHS, babies diagnosed with the condition can grow out of it.

Symptoms

Lactose intolerance causes some unpleasant symptoms but, since it’s not an allergy, they aren’t life-threatening. These symptoms include nausea, bloating, diarrhoea, and stomach pains and cramps.

Symptoms of a milk allergy can occur soon after consumption or take a few hours to develop. Immediate symptoms can include hives, wheezing, itching, coughing, and vomiting. Some take longer to become noticeable such as diarrhoea (sometimes bloody), watery eyes, runny nose, and colic in babies. In the worst cases, it can lead to anaphylaxis.

Controlling lactose intolerance and milk allergy

Simply avoiding dairy products is a way to treat lactose intolerance. Avoiding the causes of milk allergy can be a bigger challenge, though. Casein and whey are the two main proteins in milk and can be found in some products you might not expect, such as canned tuna and sausage. Some milk proteins have even been found in chewing gum. 

Allergies and intolerances can be hard to detect in children and babies. We need to be hypervigilant for any potential symptoms. If you suspect your child has a milk allergy, you should take them to see an allergist immediately.

To ensure your child is healthy, it’s always best to consult an expert. Put your mind at ease. Book an allergy test with Allergy Clinic London today on 02031 433 449.

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