How to reduce a child's risk of developing allergies

Ronald Ferdman, MD Pediatrician, Allergy & Immunology, Children's Hospital Of Los Angeles, shares advice for parents on to reduce your child's chance of developing a food allergy
How To Reduce A Child's Risk Of Developing Allergies
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How to reduce a child's risk of developing allergies

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The best thing that a parent can do to try and prevent their kids from developing a food allergy is breastfeeding. We know that if you breastfeed for at least 4 to 6 months, that’s probably the only thing that’s been shown to actually cut down on the number of food allergies that children develop. And either cuts down on the number of food allergies or at least it delays the onset of the food allergy. Unfortunately, there is not a lot more that we know for sure actually influences whether children develop food allergies or not. You can probably make things worse by exposing children to cigarette smoke. We know that cigarette smoke, either in utero or when the child’s very young baby can make the allergies worse. Exposure to alcohol in utero can increase the amount of food allergies that kids get. There is some evidence that maybe mom’s diet in terms of things like… maybe not necessarily foods, but anti-acids by cutting down on the quantity of acids in your stomach – they don’t digest the food as well and perhaps the food isn’t processed and babies become more allergic to it that way. But these are all theoretical things. The best thing you can do is breastfeed for at least 4 to 6 months.

Ronald Ferdman, MD Pediatrician, Allergy & Immunology, Children's Hospital Of Los Angeles, shares advice for parents on to reduce your child's chance of developing a food allergy

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Ronald Ferdman, MD

Pediatrician, Allergy and Immunology, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Ronald Ferdman received his BA from the University of California at San Diego and his MD from Hahnemann University (now Drexel University) in Philadelphia.  He completed both his Pediatric residency and his fellowship in Allergy/Immunology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, then obtained a Masters in Medical Education (MEd) from the University of Southern California (USC) School of Education.  He currently is an attending physician in the Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.  He is board certified allergy/immunologist, and is a fellow in the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.  His current interests include management of allergic and immunologic diseases in high-risk children and education for families and clinicians. He is a California native, where he currently lives with his wife Susan and their three of four children, and spends his spare time wishing for more.

 

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