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Will my child outgrow cow milk allergy?

In recent days cow milk allergy appears harder and more persistent to outgrow. Not only do more kids have allergies, but very few of them outgrow their allergies, and those who do, do so later in life.

It’s important to carry out an antibody test. A child’s blood levels of milk antibodies are a reliable predictor of disease behavior: the higher the level of antibodies, the less likely it is that a child will outgrow the allergy anytime soon.

In the past, research suggested that three-quarters of children with milk allergy outgrew the condition after three years, but just one-fifth of children outgrew the allergy after four years, and only 42 percent outgrew it by age 8. By age 16, 79 percent were allergy-free.

One encouraging finding: some children lost their allergies during adolescence, which is possible, suggesting that doctors should continue to test patients well into early adulthood to check if they may have lost their allergies.

Cow milk and egg allergies are the two most common food allergies in the world, affecting 3 percent and 2 percent of children, respectively. Don’t be disappointed if your child is still allergic to milk after the 5-year-old mark! Each child’s immune system is different, and there are plenty of adults allergic to milk who have learned to live with it.

If you believe that your child has outgrown his/her allergy suggest a cow milk allergy challenge to be carried out by your health care provider or allergist in their office. Your child will be given a small amount of milk and carefully monitored to determine if there is any reaction.

Some children will test negative to milk on a skin prick test yet still have reactions to the milk if they drink. These tests can produce anxiety for the parent and the child.The test is especially true if no response is triggered.

By no means should you perform cow milk allergy challenge at home! If you believe that your child has outgrown an allergy, speak with your health care provider or allergist about performing a cow milk allergy challenge in their office.