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  • Australian Society Joins Leading Medical Societies with Guidelines Recommending Early Allergen Introduction

    By: Dara Byler

Australian Society Joins Leading Medical Societies with Guidelines Recommending Early Allergen Introduction

By: Dara Byler

Australian Society Joins Leading Medical Societies with Guidelines Recommending Early Allergen Introduction

By: Dara Byler

Learn what the new guidelines from ASCIA say about allergy prevention for babies.

 

The ASCIA guidelines join many other leading medical society guidelines for food allergy prevention in infants. Other medical societies that recommend early allergen introduction starting as early as 4-12 months include the National Health Institute (NIH), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), and the British Society of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (BSACI). Here's what you should know about the new guidelines:



The New Australian Guidelines

The ASCIA, the peak professional body of clinical immunology and allergy specialists in Australia and New Zealand, published new guidelines on food allergy prevention in babies on January 12, 2019. These guidelines stem from evidence based on published evidence after 2010, largely from the results of the LEAP study. In short, the LEAP study found that introducing allergens to 4-11-month-old infants helped to reduce their risk of allergy by up to 80%. You can find more information on the LEAP study, as well as other similar clinical trials here. The new food allergy prevention guidelines also include recommendations for breastfeeding and high-risk babies (read on to learn more).


“ASCIA has developed these guidelines to outline practices that may help reduce the risk of infants developing allergies, particularly early onset allergic diseases such as eczema and food allergy” -The ASCIA

 


Who the guidelines apply to:
  • All families, including infants with a family history of food allergies, infants at a high risk of allergies, and infants with no family history of food allergies
  • Infants who have been diagnosed with a food allergy or severe eczema should consult with their doctor prior to introducing them to food allergens

Guideline recommendations for food allergy prevention:
  • All babies should be introduced to eggs, milk, peanut, and wheat before their 1st birthday, even if they are at risk of having an allergic reaction
  • Around 6 months, babies should start being introduced to solid foods, including allergens, while continuing to breastfeed
  • Including allergenic foods in a mother’s diet, during pregnancy or breastfeeding is recommended
  • Babies with an egg allergy and/or severe eczema are at high risk for developing a peanut allergy and should consult with a doctor before introducing allergens.
  • Exposing babies to food allergens by putting it on their skin will not identify possible food allergies. Babies have very sensitive facial skin that can be irritated by contact with various substances, including foods, that does not necessarily indicate an allergy.
  • Some infants will develop food allergies regardless of prevention measures. If an allergic reaction occurs, this food should not continue to be given and you should consult with a doctor or allergist.

 

"Long gone are the days where we tell people to avoid the allergen" - Maria Said, CEO of Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia

 

Guideline recommendations for breastfeeding:
  • Breastfeeding is recommended for at least 6 months and for as long as mother and infant wish to continue
  • There is no consistent evidence showing that breastfeeding can prevent allergies
  • The ASCIA recommends a healthy balanced diet (high in vegetables, fruit, and fiber) during both pregnancy and breastfeeding to benefit both the baby and the mother
  • Regular cow's, goat's milk (or other mammal derived milks), soy milk, nut and cereal beverages are not recommended for infants as the main source of milk before 12 months of age

Guideline recommendations for high-risk babies:
  • The ASCIA notes that there is good evidence of reducing peanut allergy development in infants with severe eczema and/or egg allergy through introduction of peanut before they turn 1 year old
  • The ASCIA notes that there is moderate evidence of reducing the risk of egg allergy development in infants who have a family history of allergy by introducing egg before 8 months of age
  • Minimizing the risk of allergen cross-contamination is important when introducing foods to infants with family members that have food allergies


What parents need to know about the new ASCIA guidelines:

  1. Recommendations from the ASCIA guidelines join other medical societies, including the NIH, AAP, AAAAI, and BSACI
  2. ASCIA guidelines echo the guidelines of the NIH, AAP, AAAAI, and BSACI in recommending allergen introduction in babies as early as 4-6 months to prevent food allergies
  3. All babies should be introduced to eggs, milk, peanut, and wheat before their 1st birthday, even if they are at risk of having an allergic reaction
  4. There is no consistent evidence showing that breastfeeding can prevent allergies
  5. Infants who have been diagnosed with a food allergy and/or severe eczema should consult with their doctor prior to introducing them to food allergens



Ready, Set, Food! makes it easy for families to follow medical guidelines with our evidence-based system. We understand the challenge that early allergen introduction can be for families, but we’re here to help you and your family achieve an allergy-free future. Find out more information for how Ready, Set, Food! works here to start your food allergy prevention journey today!

 

   

 

 

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All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  If your infant has severe eczema, check with your infant’s healthcare provider before feeding foods containing ground peanuts.

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