It’s a dangerous and potentially deadly public health concern.
Food allergies affect an estimated 8% of U.S. children, according to the CDC, and a new study suggests, the time of year a baby is born can put them at a higher risk.
The CDC now estimates one in 13 children, or about two students per classroom, have an immune system that mistakenly responds to food as if it were harmful.
But researchers at National Jewish Health say many allergic conditions likely start in infancy with eczema leading to food allergies, asthma and hay fever later in childhood.
And when you’re born plays into it, according to the study’s lead author, Dr. Jessica Hui.
“We found that children born in the fall, which is September, October and November, are at higher risk of developing these allergic conditions,” Hui said.
Why that’s the case is the million-dollar question.
It’s something still being studied specifically when it comes to how temperature changes affect the skin.
“We have a couple of ongoing studies right now, even following pregnant moms and their future babies looking at the skin barrier, looking at blood work, looking at different exposures they have in their environment and then seeing which ones develop allergies,” Hui said.
Hui said parents can protect their children by practicing good skin care.
“Put all the different creams on the baby, make sure the skin stays smooth and is healthy and well hydrated,” Hui said.