Milk Allergies Might Be More Stubborn Than Experts Thought, Study Says

Filed under: In The News, Research Reveals: Babies, Research Reveals: Toddlers & Preschoolers

Studies indicate it may take longer for kids to outgrow milk allergies than experts originally thought. Credit: Getty Images

Kids are supposed to outgrow milk allergies by the time they are 3 or 4 years old.

Some kids, however, didn't get the memo. Or adults weren't listening.

Fresh studies indicate it may take longer for kids to outgrow milk allergies than experts previously thought. BusinessWeek reports a study of 244 children found just a third of them outgrowing their allergy to milk within 30 months.

That flies in the face of previous studies, Scott Sicherer, a pediatrics professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, who led the new research, tells BusinessWeek.

"We used to say 85 or 90 percent would outgrow (milk allergies) by the time they are 3 or 4 years old," Sicherer tells BusinessWeek. Now, he adds, the allergy seems to be hanging around longer.

BusinessWeek reports Sicherer presented his findings March 19 in San Francisco at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Sicherer tells BusinessWeek some 2.5 percent of children younger than 3 are allergic to milk. Sicherer adds the allergy is different from lactose intolerance, where a person has difficulty digesting lactose, a sugar found in milk.

Children with a lower concentration of certain antibodies in their blood were more likely to outgrow the allergy, Sicherer tells BusinessWeek. So were kids with less severe dermatitis.

"You can outgrow an allergy at any age," Sicherer tells BusinessWeek.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.