Millions of children suffer from allergies and the amount of those affected is only rising. the number of allergies in children has doubled over the last decade. in families that are prone to allergies, it is important to take preventative measures to stop the allergies from developing at all.
In the prevention of the formation of allergies in children, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life is highly recommended. Solid food should be introduced slowly after this period, with the introduction of one item at a time. A study conducted showed that children who are introduced to food before six months of age were more likely to develop asthma later in childhood.
Recent research concerning allergies to pets shows that exposure to animals to children at a young age helps prevent allergies to these animals later in life.
A study by David Fleisher, MD, pediatric allergist at the Natural Jewish Health Centre in Denver, reports that introducing children to allergy prone foods such as eggs, nuts, and dairy, at an early age will help prevent these allergies from forming at all. It was proven that introducing eggs after the first six months of breastfeeding led to a decrease in allergies to eggs. Children that were fed eggs after ten months of age were more likely to develop an egg allergy. Another study showed children that were not given peanut butter were ten times more likely to develop an allergy to it than those that were fed peanut butter as an infant.
Foods should be introduced slowly and only after the child is six months of age. Start with cereal and vegetables, with only one item of food being introduced at one time. Once the child’s system has shown it can tolerate these foods, begin to introduce other foods. It is theorised that if children are not introduced to these allergenic foods, the body recognises them as invaders and allergies are formed.
Avoid smoking around children in order to prevent asthma from developing. There is a direct link to asthma and other respiratory diseases and cigarette smoke. Do not smoke in the home or a vehicle when children are present.
Preventing environmental allergies such as dust mites can be taken care of by reducing contact with these substances from the beginning. Keep indoor humidity at less than 50% and use zippered cases for beds and pillows that are impermeable to allergens.
Recent research concerning allergies to pets shows that exposure to cats and dogs to children at a young age helps prevent allergies to these animals later in life. According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunity, children raised on farms develop fewer allergies and asthma.