Is your child among the one in five children suffering from allergies?
Did you know one in five children in Singapore suffer from allergies? If your child is one of them, learn what you can do, here.
It’s heartbreaking for parents to witness their little ones grappling with allergies. Whether these are in the form of skin irritation, respiratory issues or digestive problems, one thing is clear: these days, more and more children have allergies. In Singapore, one in five babies1 suffer from some form of allergy. Why are these numbers so high?
One way to find out if your child is at risk of developing allergies is to take a quick look at your family’s history. Take Nutricia’s one-minute allergy test online to see if your child is at risk.
Allergies have various triggers, and allergic reactions appear in different forms such as eczema, rhinitis and food allergies. It’s important to know these distinctions for effective treatment and management.
Allergic march2,3, the progression of allergic reaction (eczema, food allergy, allergic rhinitis and asthma) into another form of allergy later on in life. This usually begins within the first few months of life with eczema and is associated with a food allergy.
Once a child has developed eczema or a food allergy, the child is more likely to develop other allergies as they grow older. These allergies include allergic rhinitis or asthma and may negatively affect their quality of life. Symptoms may result in reduced exercise tolerance, poor sleep and concentration and impaired performance at school.
When a child exhibits allergy symptoms, many parents try to manage the condition by avoiding the source or by just leaving the condition alone. But when it comes to food allergies, it is often best to find a solution to manage it as fast as possible. This is because children with food allergies are at risk of malnutrition and development problems later if the allergy is not managed well.4-7
Among the many food allergies that are common in children, Cow’s Milk Allergy 8,9 is a cause of concern to parents. This is because milk is considered a crucial element of a child’s diet, starting from birth and continuing to toddlerhood and beyond. Also known as Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA), it is an abnormal response by the body’s immune system in which proteins in the cow’s milk are recognised as foreign bodies.
This can cause the immune system to be “sensitised” so that every time cow’s milk is consumed, the immune system remembers this protein. As a result, allergic symptoms are displayed. These can range from digestive symptoms like stomach ache or diarrhea to skin reactions like rash, eczema or swelling. Parents, or the child, may avoid milk, and this could have a negative impact on the child’s health and nutrition – especially if milk is the only source of food for the child.
If your child is at risk of Cow’s Milk Allergy, opt for hydrolysed milk formula. But what exactly is hydrolysed formula? And how do you spot it when you are shopping?
Paediatricians may recommend hydrolysed formula for babies who have problems digesting full cow’s milk protein-based formula. Hydrolysed formula is pre-digested protein, so it is broken down into smaller proteins. This process makes the formula less likely to cause allergic reactions since the baby’s immune system will be less likely to launch an attack on smaller proteins.
Not all hydrolysed milk formulas are the same. Carefully read the ingredients label to find out how the formula can help your child.
Mums, here are a few things to look out for when searching for the right hydrolysed formula for your baby:
- Look for a hydrolysed milk formula with Prebiotics (scGOs/lcFOS), Zinc and Iron. These nutrients and minerals support your child’s natural defences. Prebiotics are non-digestible fiber which serve as food for the good bacteria in the gut. The gut acts as the first line of defence against infections and allergies as it is home to about 100 trillion bacteria10 and 70% of the body’s immune cells.11 These immune cells, with the support of good bacteria help to fight off harmful infections and to increase their tolerance to substances like food proteins. If your baby has a confirmed allergy to cow’s milk, you may want to seek a medical professional’s advice.
- Look for a whey-based formula (which is said to taste better due to its sweet/dairy flavour12,13).
- Look for a formula that contains lactose as it helps modulate gut microbiota14 as well as helps stimulate the absorption of calcium, which is key for bone mineralisation.15
- If your baby has a confirmed mild to severe allergy to cow’s milk protein, you’ll want to hunt down an extensively hydrolysed protein formula that is suitable for your child. If your child is unable to tolerate an extensively hydrolysed protein formula, he may need a 100% amino acid-based formula. Do consult your paediatrician to find out more today.
Mums, you can manage your child's allergies. You can give your little one relief and even manage the allergies, allowing him to have a full and fun childhood. Talk to your pediatrician and find out more today.
Read more about allergies in children here.
Brought to you in partnership with Danone Nutricia Singapore (www.aptaadvantage.com.sg)
- Tan TN et al. Paediatric Allergy Immunology. 2005; 16:151-156
- Hamelmann et al Clin Exp Allergy. 2008;38:233
- World Allergy I The Allergic March | 2015
- Christie L et al. J Am Diet Assoc. 2002;102:1648-1651
- Flammarion S et al. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2011;22:161-165
- Mehta H et al. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013;13(3):275-279
- Meyer R et al. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. 2012;23:307-314
- Cow's Milk Allergy Advice | Help on CMPA | Allergy UK. (2018)
- Milk Allergy | Food Allergy Research & Education.
- U 2005. Immunology Letters. 99(1): pp12-6
- Muller et al. Journal Immuonology (2015) ,176 (10) : pp. 5805-14
- Deeth, H., & Bansal, N. Whey Proteins: From Milk to Medicine (1st ed.). Academic Press.
- Venter C. J Fam Health Care. 2009; 19(4):128-134
- Francavilla R et al . J Nutri. 2008 ; 138(6):1091-1095
- Heyman et al. Pediatrics (2006); 118:1279-1286