Thursday, February 10, 2011

Children, Environment, and Allergies

One Toronto Star Article in particular caught my attention today. This one indicates that a British Study found higher rates of peanut allergies in boys among more affluent families.

The article states that, "“Fussy parents” – parents who shield their children from all potential allergens in a hyper-clean environment from before birth – could be one explanation for the higher rate in more affluent homes".

Not sure how I feel about this hypothesis. Our family would definitely be considered to be among the middle class and despite recommendations to hold off on offering peanuts until the age of 3, we still introduced peanuts to our son earlier. However, we were careful to offer small amounts initially and monitor to determine whether or not there were any adverse effects. I am sometimes sad that the old "staple" peanut butter sandwich or peanut butter and crackers are no longer allowed in schools. That being said, I have become extremely sensitive to many foods since cutting them out of my diet initially for an elimination/reintroduction phase. Foods that previously did not bother me, now in some cases invoke a mild anaphylactic reaction which is somewhat remediated by anti-histamines. Maybe there is something to the hypothesis of the "fussy parent".

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