Childhood Food Allergies May Not Be as Temporary as They Once Were

  • Millions of kids have food allergies, and the allergic reactions they have when they come into contact with their allergic triggers can be both worrisome and frightening for their parents. But for decades, experts have been telling us that many kids eventually outgrow such allergies.


    That may no longer be true, however.


    Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center studied 1700 children with either milk or egg allergy over a period of 13 years. They found that childhood food allergies these days often last into adolescence and beyond.


    In the past, experts estimated that 75% of milk allergies disappeared by age 3. But findings from this study, which were published in the November and December issues of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed that:

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    • Only 20% of children with milk allergy had outgrown the allergy by age 4
    • 42% had outgrown it by age 8
    • Even by age 16, 21% still had milk allergy

    The findings with egg allergy were much the same:

    • Only 4% had outgrown the allergy by age 4
    • 37% of the egg allergies had disappeared by age 10
    • 32% of those at age 16 had outgrown their egg allergy

    These findings confirm that today's food allergies react more aggressively, unpredictably and persistently than those of 2 decades ago. Experts aren't sure why, but this issue will require further study.

Published On: January 01, 2008