Infant allergies

The incidence of allergy continues to rise steadily1 and, despite much research in this field in recent years, experts conclude there is still much to be understood about this distressing phenomenon and its cause. The first sign of allergy is often eczema – commonly occurring in the first 6 months of life. While not life-threatening, it is distressing for both babies and their parents and can affect the wellbeing of the whole family.

This section includes our selection of the latest research, summaries and articles on allergy. The Allergy Checker – a resource you can use with mums-to-be – estimates the risk of allergy for their newborn, and helps decide whether any precautionary steps should be taken.

  1. Howarth PH. Clin Exp Allergy 1998; 28: 2–7.
  2. Greer FR et al. Pediatrics 2008; 121; 183–191.
  3. Muraro A et al. Allergy 2014; 69: 590–601.
  4. von Berg A et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2008; 121: 1442–1447.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Breast milk is best for babies and breastfeeding should continue for as long as possible. Good maternal nutrition is important for the preparation and maintenance of breastfeeding. Introducing partial bottle-feeding may have a negative effect on breastfeeding and reversing a decision not to breastfeed is difficult. Caregivers should always seek the advice of a doctor, midwife, health visitor, public health nurse, dietitian or pharmacist on the need for and proper method of use of infant milks and on all matters of infant feeding. Social and financial implications should be considered when selecting a method of infant feeding. Infant milk should always be prepared and used as directed. Inappropriate foods or feeding methods, or improper use of infant formula, may present a health hazard.