Having a child with a milk allergy is very hard. For parents that don’t have children with allergies, this can be very difficult to understand. Some people may think that allergies are easy to control… Just say no to dairy, right? With so many foods made with dairy products, it’s harder than they would think. It takes a great amount of energy to watch everything your child drinks and eats. It’s no wonder a common question we hear from parents is “Will my child outgrow this? And when?”
According to Hugh A. Sampson, M.D., “Virtually all infants who develop cow’s milk allergy do so in the first year of life, with about 80% ‘outgrowing’ their milk allergy by their fifth birthday.” (Click here for more on this article by Dr. Sampson in FAAN’s “Food Allergy News”)
Between 2% and 3% of babies and toddlers are affected by a milk allergy and it occurs when infants are given a cow’s milk-based formula or are exposed to milk proteins in the mother’s diet (if breastfeeding). The best preventative program is for your child to stay away from milk and milk-based products entirely. If breastfeeding, take all dairy out of your diet or switch from standard formula to an amino acid based formula like Neocate.
Until your child grows out of it, help him/her avoid adverse reactions by knowing what – and what not – to feed him/her and, as always, look out for the common symptoms.
· Skin rashes (like eczema)
· Wheezing and coughing
· Blood in stools
Dealing with a milk allergy throughout life is not the norm, but it can happen, and, of course, it can be managed, especially since more and more dairy-free/allergen-free products and recipes are coming on the scene. If you have any good recipes, send them our way so we can share with others.