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What are the Causes And Risks

As research studies are undertaken, new facts and theories as to why people suffer from allergy emerge. With the rapid increase in childhood allergies, parents are beginning to ask what can be done to prevent allergy in the first place, and how likely their children are to develop allergies.

Doctors cannot predict with certainty which children will develop an allergy, however, it has been noticed that some families seem to include more individuals with allergies than other families. Children born into families where allergies already exist show a higher than average chance of developing allergies themselves.

Due to this increased tendency towards childhood allergy where parents are already allergy sufferers, doctors in the UK and Europe would class such a family as 'high risk' for allergic tendencies appearing in their children.

However, children do not always develop the same allergies as other family members. Research has shown that children may develop a tendency towards being allergic rather than developing a specific type of allergy.

It is clear that genetics alone is not the sole cause of allergies, and it is widely accepted that the environment in which we live also has a great influence on the development of allergies in our children. For these reasons, whilst some families have a greater tendency towards allergy than others, all parents need to be on the look-out for allergy symptoms in their children.

We cannot yet give all the answers we would like to give to parents in response to questions about why and how allergy develops. We do though have a better understanding of what might influence the onset of allergic disease in children.


Last Updated: March 2012

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