Dr Mark Rosenthal


Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine

also specialist in Food Allergies & Disorders of Sleep

A | A | A

T: 0207 351 8754

E: s.harvey@rbht.nhs.uk

A:The Royal Brompton Hospital, London, SW3 6NP

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Food allergies in children don’t always persist into adulthood. Many children who are allergic to milk, eggs or wheat in their early years will grow out of it. However, many allergies that are first identified in childhood are permanent. Food allergies are often lifelong conditions.


Growing Out of Childhood Allergies

The likelihood that your child will grow out of his or her food allergy depends on the kind of allergy and the age of the child. The younger your child is, the better the chances that the allergy will go away. Children under the age of five have digestive and immune systems that are developing rapidly. This means that the immune response that causes a food allergy can often be lost. Older children are less likely to grow out of their allergies, but food allergies in children do sometimes disappear in adolescence. Once we reach adulthood, a food allergy is almost certainly permanent.

Persistent Allergies

The allergies that children are most likely to grow out of are milk protein, egg, soya and wheat. About 90% of children under five who are diagnosed with one of these allergies will be able to eat these foods safely as adults. Other food allergies in children are more likely to be permanent. A child who has an allergy to peanuts, ground nuts, fish or seafood is very likely to retain the allergy as an adult.

Is the Allergy Gone?

A food allergy is a very serious condition, so it is important to seek medical advice if you want to know if the allergy is still there. Never give a child any food that they have been diagnosed with an allergy to. If you want to check whether your child has outgrown as allergy, ask a doctor to run a blood test or to check for an allergic response in the safety of a clinic.

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