January 7, 2008
New Allergy Advice for Kids
Breast-feeding helps prevent babies' allergies, but there's no good evidence for avoiding certain foods during pregnancy, using soy formula or delaying introduction of solid foods beyond six months. That's the word from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is updating earlier suggestions that may have made some parents feel like they weren't doing enough to prevent food allergies, asthma and allergic rashes.
The new guidance report for pediatricians was published in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics. Earlier advice about restricting certain foods from moms' and babies' diets has been tossed out and the only surefire advice remaining is to breast-feed.
The report says:
*There is no convincing evidence that women who avoid peanuts or other foods during pregnancy or breast-feeding lower their child's risk of allergies.
*For infants with a family history of allergies, exclusive breast-feeding for at least four months can lessen the risk of rashes and allergy to cow's milk.
*Exclusive breast-feeding for at least three months protects against wheezing in babies, but whether it prevents asthma in older children is unclear.
*There is modest evidence for feeding hypoallergenic formulas to susceptible babies if they are not solely breast-fed.
*There is no good evidence that soy-based formulas prevent allergies.
*There is no convincing evidence that delaying the introduction of foods such as eggs, fish or peanut butter to children prevents allergies. Babies should not get solid food before 4 to 6 months of age, however.
Posted by Lisa at January 7, 2008 7:36 AM
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