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Can Children Outgrow Their Allergies?

Can Children Outgrow Their Allergies?

Living with pediatric allergies is distressing for children — and their families. Childhood is a crucial time for development, and as their immune systems develop, some children grow out of allergies. The likelihood of that happening depends on the type and the severity. 

In the meantime, if your child has allergy symptoms or is diagnosed with an allergic disease, working closely with an allergy specialist should be a top priority. 

Here at Riviera Allergy Medical Center, Dr. Ulrike Ziegner provides top-quality allergy and immunology care to patients in and around Redondo Beach, California, including comprehensive pediatric allergy care.

Pediatric allergy overview

Allergies occur when the immune system mistakenly identifies a harmless substance, such as pollen, pet dander, or certain foods, as a threat. This leads to an immune response that can cause symptoms ranging from mild (such as rashes or sneezing) to severe (like difficulty breathing or anaphylaxis). 

The most common pediatric allergens include milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish, as well as environmental allergens like pollen and animal dander.

More than 18% of children in the United States have a seasonal allergy, and boys are more likely to have one than girls. If one parent has an allergy, their child is up to 50% more likely to develop an allergy. 

The possibility of outgrowing allergies

The likelihood of a child outgrowing an allergy varies, and it isn’t completely known if or when it will happen. Children are more likely to outgrow certain allergies than others. Here’s what we know:

Food allergies

Milk and egg allergies are among the most common in young children, and clinical data show that approximately 80% of children will outgrow milk allergies and 70% will outgrow egg allergies by age 16. 

However, children are less likely to outgrow peanut, tree nut, fish, and shellfish allergies. Only about 20% of children with peanut allergies and 14% with tree nut allergies outgrow them.

Environmental allergies

Allergies to substances like pollen, mold, and animal dander tend to persist into adulthood. Management typically involves reducing exposure to allergens and may require ongoing treatment.

Factors Influencing Outgrowing Allergies

Several factors can influence whether a child will outgrow their allergies:

Age at onset

Children are more likely to outgrow allergies that they develop early in life than those that emerge later in childhood or during adolescence. 

Severity of allergy

Children who have severe or multiple allergies are less likely to outgrow their allergies compared to those with mild symptoms.

Frequency of exposure

Controlled exposure to certain allergens under medical supervision can sometimes help the immune system learn to tolerate the allergen, a process known as desensitization. This involves administering gradually increasing amounts of the allergen.

This method aims to help the child’s immune system become less sensitive to the allergen, potentially leading to tolerance over time. Talk to Dr. Ziegner about immunotherapy to see if your child is a good candidate.

Monitoring and management

It’s crucial for parents to manage their child’s allergies effectively and monitor for any changes in their allergic responses. 

Regular follow-ups with an allergist are important, as it provides the opportunity to conduct tests to determine if an allergy is still present. These tests might include skin prick tests, blood tests, or supervised oral food challenges.

Pediatric allergy management

For parents who are navigating the challenges of pediatric allergies, staying informed and engaged with your child's allergist is crucial. 

Together, you can tailor a management plan that safeguards your child's health while monitoring for any potential changes in their allergic status. To get started, contact us at Riviera Allergy Medical Center to request a visit. 

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