Specialist expertise: Allergy, Clinical Immunology, Food Allergy, Paediatric Allergy, Immunotherapy, Provocation Food Challenges, Skin Prick Testing, Eczema, Atopic Dermatitis, Asthma, Hay fever, Allergic Conjunctivitis, Insect Sting, Eosinophilic Oesophagitis, Swallowing Disorders, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Abdominal Pain, Constipation, Diarrhoea.
Why might my child need food allergy prevention?
Food allergies can cause problems ranging from eczema to life-threatening allergic reactions. Up to 8% of babies have food allergies in the UK, and with a Proactive Approach, food allergies can be prevented. The latest research shows that babies who regularly eat nut butters, egg and cow’s milk before an allergy develops can effectively prevent their development.
This had enormous capacity to protect children. We run a timely and effective service designed to expedite testing and introduction of allergens into a young child’s diet.
What does the service involve?
The aim in this service is to assess risks of developing food allergies, plan the diet you wish for your child, offer skin prick testing (same appointment results) so long as no antihistamines have been taken for 5 days before, offer a food to eat under our supervision at the same appointment and ensure rapid assessment and safe dietary consumption to protect against the development of food allergies. Our Allergy team specialises in a wide range of allergy tests and treatments – from straightforward procedures such as patch tests and skin pricks, to more complex treatments such as desensitisation and food provocation. Testing may be undertaken within a face-to-face visit by skin testing or by blood testing.
This expedited service offers a rapid assessment for your child’s developmental and allergy requirements. Effective prevention requires sufficient allergen to be eaten on a regular basis. For infants without sensitisation, foods may be introduced at home, however those with limited sensitisation may benefit from supervised introduction in clinic.
Are there any risks associated with food allergy prevention?
Children avoid food for many reasons, including taste, texture, stressful mealtimes or already being full! Some children start to refuse when they develop early symptoms. Thorough assessment and review are important to navigate the best option for your child and may involve testing. Skin prick testing is not painful but can be itchy. It is safe and adverse reactions such as an itching body or runny nose happen very rarely. Please get in touch if you have concerns about your child’s dietary breadth and enjoyment of allergens.