The first question asked by many parents of a child with a newly diagnosed food allergy is ‘will my child grow out of their allergy’. The good news is the majority of food allergies diagnosed in children will be outgrown in time1. There are a number of factors that can help predict the likelihood that your child will outgrow their allergy.
Most children diagnosed with milk, egg, soy and wheat allergy will likely outgrow the allergy1. Recent research has shown that children that develop an allergy at a younger age are more likely to outgrow it2. If your child experiences mild to moderate allergic symptoms and suffers from only one allergy then this increases the chances that the allergy will not continue2. Finally if eczema is the only symptom that your child experiences then it is more likely they will outgrow the allergy2.
Unfortunately for the majority of children diagnosed with tree nut, shellfish or peanut allergies, these allergies will most likely be lifelong2. For children with peanut allergies, if they are lucky enough to outgrow it, this will usually happen by approximately age six3. Approximately 20% of children with a peanut allergy will outgrow it2. For those with a tree nut allergy, only approximately 9% of children outgrow it4. If your child is allergic to more than one tree nut, then they are unlikely to outgrow the allergy4. Shellfish allergy most commonly occurs in adults and generally it is a lifelong allergy5. If a food allergy is diagnosed for the first time in adulthood, it will usually be life long1.
If your child has a food allergy and you think they may have outgrown it, it is recommended that you book an appointment with your doctor. They can conduct a number of different tests, in safe and controlled conditions, to determine if the allergy has been outgrown.
The good news is the majority of food allergies diagnosed in children will be outgrown in time
- 2016. Food Allergy. Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and allergy. Viewed 10 August 2016. http://www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-allergy/food-allergy
- Gupata et al. 2013. Factors associated with reported food allergy tolerance among US children. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Vol: 111, Issue: 3, pages: 194-198.e4
- Begin et al. 2013. Natural resolution of peanut allergy: A 12-year longitudinal follow-up study. The journal or allergy and immunology in practice. Vol: 1, Issue: 5, Pages: 528-530 e.4
- Fleischer DM, Conover-Walker MK, Matsui EC, Wood RA. 2005. The Natural History of Tree Nut Allergy, J Allergy Clin Immunol, Volume 116, No.5.
- Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia. 2016. Shellfish. Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia. Viewed 10 August 2016. https://www.allergyfacts.org.au/living-with-the-risk/allergen-specifics/shellfish