Could your child be at risk of an allergy going undiagnosed
Published 03/07/2012 | 10:26
Following an urgent call for the widespread education of parents, GPs and health visitors – we look further into the symptoms of cows’ milk allergy (CMA).
There is nothing more worrying for a parent than not knowing what is wrong with their child when they are unwell. But what if those symptoms persisted and the true nature of the condition continued to go undiagnosed?
According to new research to mark the launch of a nationwide awareness campaign – ACT on CMA – to help increase knowledge, understanding and management of cows’ milk allergy (CMA); of the parents whose children had been diagnosed with CMA, nearly one in five had visited their GP 10 times or more, while on average parents had to make five trips to their doctor before diagnosis.
Experts say the problem of diagnosis lies in the symptoms being both diverse and common - including skin disorders (atopic dermatitis), reflux, diarrhoea and respiratory complaints, which are often first attributed to other conditions by doctors.
The report also found that cows’ milk allergy is commonly confused with lactose intolerance by parents– in fact three quarters of those surveyed wrongly identified CMA as an allergy to lactose and only one in ten parents could correctly identify it as an allergy to the protein in cows’ milk. Moreover, approximately 70% of GPs and health visitors felt they were not sufficiently informed on identifying CMA in children.
Watch our video with new mum and presenter Jenni Falconer and Dr Adam Fox.
To find out more about what to do if you suspect your child to be suffering from this allergy or to download a special food diary to help you keep track of your child's symptoms go to: www.cowsmilkallergy.co.uk or speak to your healthcare professional.