According to the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology, a child’s chance of developing allergies is 25% if one parent has allergies and 66% if both parents have allergies. In research appearing in Medical Tribune (July 23, 1992;30), breast feeding mothers were able to reduce the chances that their babies will develop allergies by eating a low-allergen diet. The subjects of the study were 58 mothers and infants from families with a history of allergies, and their babies. The infants in the study were being breast fed; they were divided into two groups. Another group of 62 mothers and babies served as a control. In the test group, the mothers were placed on a hypoallergenic diet. For one year, the mothers in the test group avoided common allergens like eggs, dairy, fish, nuts, wheat or citrus. Their homes were treated with products to control dust mites.
At the end of the year, 40% of the infants in the control group developed allergies. Only 13% of the infants in the test group developed allergies. The test group also had a lower incidence of asthma, 7% compared to 19% in the control group. The study found that restricting the mother’s diet can lead to fewer allergies in children. Parental smoking is a huge risk factor for children to develop allergies.