London, Jan 31: Overprotective mothers have been advised not to mistake everyday ailments in children for symptoms of intolerance. A survey has revealed that new mothers decide too quickly that their kids have a food allergy and as a result cut at least one food from their baby's diet before their first birthday.
Tests have, however, proved that the real chance of discovering an allergy was barely one in 25. A Government-backed study of 1,000 youngsters stated people had become more aware of food allergies and tend to put down to put down every rash, tummy ache, diarrhoea and cry to food allergy or intolerance. "I sympathise with them - it seems reasonable to blame the food when an infant screams or turns red in the face minutes after being fed it the first time,'' the Daily Mail quoted researcher Carina Venter as saying.
During the study, a quarter of the 969 babies had been diagnosed by their parents as allergic or intolerant to at least one food.
Many others were off certain foods due to fears they might cause problems. However, just 35 actually tested positive for an allergy or intolerance, it showed.
Tummy aches, constipation and runny and itchy noses were among the common ailments mistaken as symptoms of allergies to foods such as milk, peanuts, fish, strawberries and tomatoes.
The study also revealed that the rate of food allergies and intolerances had not risen since the last large-scale survey on the subject 20 years ago.