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Infant Feeding and Allergy Prevention Guidelines
The Allergy Clinical Network supports the guidelines developed by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA), which were agreed by participants in the Infant Feeding Summit hosted by the Centre for Food & Allergy Research (CFAR) in Australia in May 2016. These were updated in 2017 to include guidelines for introduction of peanut to infants with severe eczema and/or food allergy.
The reasons for the continued rise in allergic diseases, such as food allergy, eczema, asthma and allergic rhinitis (hay fever) are complex and not well understood. Although infants with a family history of allergic disease are at higher risk of allergies, infants with no family history can also develop allergies. These guidelines are relevant for all families, including those in which siblings or parents already have food allergies or other allergic conditions.
If an infant already has an allergic disease (such as severe eczema or food allergy), it is recommended parents discuss what specific measures might be useful with their doctor.
Information for Health Professionals
- Go to the ASCIA
website (https://www.allergy.org.au/health-professionals/papers/infant-feeding-allergy-prevention) to access:
• ASCIA Guidelines - Infant feeding and allergy prevention
• ASCIA Information on how to introduce solid food to babies
• ASCIA Guide for introduction of peanut to infants with severe eczema and/or food allergy
- A PHARMAC forum on 'prevention of paediatric food allergy and eczema' was held June 2017 with sessions by Dr Jan Sinclair, paediatric allergy specialist, and Dr Diana Purvis, paediatric dermatologist, Starship Child Health. This is available as an online seminar and is approved for continuing medical education (CME) for GPs: https://www.pharmac.govt.nz/seminars/seminar-resources/allergy-and-eczema/
- An 'Update on infant feeding and food allergy prevention' (November 2017) was written for BPAC and is available here to download as a pdf
Information for Patients, Consumers and Carers
There are three documents in pdf available from the ASCIA website (https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergy-prevention) which can be downloaded and provided to patients, parents and carers as appropriate. These include an updated (2017) version of parent information on how to introduce solid foods for allergy prevention:
- ASCIA Guidelines for Infant Feeding and Allergy Prevention
- ASCIA Allergy Prevention FAQs
- ASCIA How to introduce solids to infants (updated 2017)
Document last reviewed: February 2018
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