Baby’s First Year Important for Pet Allergies

132

Credit: Dreamstime

Baby’s First Year Important for Pet Allergies

Rover andِ Fluffy areِ unlikely toِ raise kids’ risk ofِ developing pet allergies, andِ could lowerِ them, according toِ a newِ 18-year-long study.
The results showed that, forِ most ofِ the childhood years, beingِ exposed toِ a dog orِ cat hadِ little effect onِ laterِ allergies.
However, exposure lowered theِ risk forِ some children ifِ they wereِ exposed toِ a pet duringِ their firstِ year ofِ life.

Conflicting results

A number ofِ studies inِ recent years haveِ looked atِ the effect ofِ early exposure toِ cats andِ dogs onِ allergies.
The results haveِ beenِ conflicting — someِ haveِ shown a benefit fromِ having a pet, whileِ othersِ haveِ shown itِ may makeِ children moreِ allergy-prone.
Epstein published a study inِ 2010 thatِ foundِ that early exposure toِ dogs didِ not seemِ to put children atِ risk forِ allergic reactions laterِ on, althoughِ that wasِ notِ the case withِ cats.

Wegienka said a major barrier to understanding the effect of pets on allergies is practicality.

“Realistically, youِ cannotِ do a randomized control trial becauseِ it wouldِ notِ beِ ethical (or reasonable) toِ randomly allocate pet keeping,” sheِ told MyHealthNewsDaily.
But, sheِ added, itِ now seemsِ that researchers shouldِ furtherِ study theِ firstِ year ofِ life.
.

C-Sections, pets and allergies

Another observation places that first year further under scrutiny.

The study authors noted thatِ babies born byِ Caesarian section seemedِ to benefit moreِ fromِ having a pet aroundِ – theyِ hadِ only one-third ofِ the risk withِ a dog, andِ only seventy percent ofِ the risk withِ a cat ofِ developing allergies toِ theِ animal.
The authors saidِ that a possibleِ explanation forِ this isِ that traveling throughِ theِ birth canal mayِ expose infants toِ moreِ bacteria, soِ babies whoِ doِ not doِ this mayِ gain moreِ of theirِ microbes fromِ household exposure.
While evidence hasِ beenِ conflicting, thereِ doesِ not seemِ to beِ a strong reason toِ keepِ a pet outِ ofِ the home becauseِ of allergy concerns.

This story was provided by MyHealthNewsDaily, sister site to LiveScience.
Follow MyHealthNewsDaily on Twitter @MyHealth_MHND.