Early exposure to pets may reduce children’s allergy risk…

Although many parents “nix the idea of getting a pet when their children are young for fear of kicking off an allergic response,” researchers found that having a “dog or cat in the house” may actually provide a protective effect, according to a study in the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy. Researchers followed 565 children “from birth until age 18,” paying particular interest to “pet exposure in the first year of life, and at other stages throughout childhood and adolescence.” They also looked at the number of years in which children “lived with a pet that stayed indoors at least half the day,” as well as the parents’ allergy history; and whether the child was delivered “via C-section or vaginally.”

According to HealthDay (6/13, Gordon), the investigators found that the first year of life “appears to offer the greatest” protection: Living with a “dog before age one year was associated with about half the risk of developing a dog allergy in boys,” and exposure to cats “before turning one was associated with about a 48 percent reduction in risk for girls and boys.”

Los Angeles Times (June 13, Stein)

This entry was posted in eczema / dermatitis. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *