This is what Dr. Thulja Trikamjee, a pediatric and allergist specialist at Netcare Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg, who has a certificate of sub-specialty in pediatric allergy, allergy degree, as well as a certificate of allergy and immunology of the Union of European Medical Specialists.
Trikamjee says that people today have a greater risk than ever of suffering from some form of allergy. The Allergy Foundation of SA says a baby with no family history of allergies now has a 15% risk of developing an allergic condition in the early years.
"If one parent has an allergy, the child's risk increases to between 40% and 50%; and if both parents are allergic, the risk is 60% to 80. A child with siblings with allergies also has a significantly higher risk of developing allergies, "she said.
The good news is that you can lower the risk of your children developing allergies.
In fact, allergy prevention should begin when a woman learns that she is pregnant.
"As the fetus develops, the baby's immune system also develops. As the baby develops its own antibodies, exposure to potential allergens can help them avoid developing allergies to these substances, "she said.
"Most mothers do not realize that when they eat, small food proteins pass through the umbilical cord to the fetus.
"If this continues during pregnancy, the baby's immune system begins to recognize these proteins.
"This process continues after birth and after the baby begins to eat solids."
So what are the steps to take after finding out you are pregnant?
Eat a healthy and balanced diet, including foods from all major food groups.
Do not eliminate / reduce the consumption of specific allergenic foods, such as dairy, eggs, seafood, and nuts, unless you have a confirmed allergy to them.
Increase your intake of oily fish or take an omega supplement.
Introduce solids, and allergenic foods in particular, to your baby early. Between four and six months is better.
Breast milk contains numerous immunological factors and properties, which can help prevent allergies and protect infants from infections, so breastfeed for at least four months.
Some major food groups cause most allergic reactions in children, including cow's milk, chicken eggs, peanuts, nuts, wheat, soybeans, and seafood.
Diarrhea or bloody stools
Change of consciousness or activity
"Fortunately, most children outgrow their allergies. For example, many give up milk, egg and nut allergies. "