A survey1, commissioned by Abbott's nutrition business, reveals that parents of babies suffering with suspected cow’s milk allergy (CMA) face an average wait of six and a half weeks before their child’s condition is diagnosed. The emotional impact is widespread with nearly 75% of parents stating that the situation has caused them to feel ‘extremely stressed or worried’. Almost one parent in five (18%) said that they felt they had failed as a parent. Worryingly, the survey also highlights that, for the majority of parents, the challenges presented by their child’s condition do not end in diagnosis. 

CMA usually develops in the first year of life and is one of the most common food allergies among children affecting up to 3.5%2. By 12 months of age, approximately 50% of babies will have grown out of the condition but, in some cases, CMA may continue longer into childhood, typically resolving between the age of three to five years3.

The message from parents of babies with CMA is that more solutions are needed, including better access to information, guidance and support to tackle the emotional impact of the diagnosis, as well as alternative products.

Breastfeeding is best for infants and is recommended for as long as possible during infancy.

References:

1. Data on file. Abbott Laboratories Ltd., 2013 (Parent survey: cow’s milk allergy). 
2. Venter C and Arshad SH. Pediatr Clin N Am 2011;58(2):327-349.
3. Høst A et al. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2002;13(Suppl 15):23-28.

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