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Experts Planning Revisions for Allergy Guidelines

Update Date: Sep 13, 2013 04:56 PM EDT

Allergies can make life quite difficult. For people with food allergies, they must watch everything they eat or risk suffering from a fatal allergic reaction. For people with allergies to the environment, such as seasonal allergies, they have to be diligent about taking medications. Since allergies can control a huge portion of one's life, researchers have been studying ways of potentially preventing food allergies from manifesting. According to experts from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, they are considering revising the current guidelines for food allergies.

The old recommendations provide parents with an idea of when they should introduce foods that are known for causing allergic reactions to their young children. For example, for eggs, parents are told to give children the first taste of an egg when they turn two. For fish, on the other hand, the guidelines recommend parents to feed fish once the child turns three. Even though these guidelines were set to protect children from potentially fatal allergic reactions, several new studies have suggested that introducing foods to children after four to six-months of age could actually increase the children's risk of developing severe food allergies and eczema. Based on these studies, the experts are now considering recommending parents to introduce foods earlier.

In a new set of guidelines, the experts would recommend parents to introduce food when their infants are between four and six-months-old. Each food item should be introduced alone. Parents should wait three to five days before introducing the infant to another type of food. The details will be presented at an October meeting of pediatricians. The meeting will take place in Orlando, FL and the presenter will be allergist David Fleishcer from National Jewish Health. Even though the presentation will take place next month, some of the details of the guidelines were published in a part of a paper earlier this year. That paper can be accessed here.

Although the experts are considering changing guidelines for allergies, they acknowledged the fact that individual plans between pediatricians and parents might be more effective since every case is different from one another. In the meantime, more studies are being conducted to find effective ways of preventing food allergies from developing.

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