Cow’s Milk Allergy

Cow’s milk allergy in infants, or dairy allergy, is the most common type of infant food allergy in the United States. It happens when the immune system mistakenly identifies a usually harmless protein within cow’s milk as harmful and triggers an allergic response. The associated issues can either occur immediately (within minutes) or be delayed for up to a few days after consuming dairy or foods containing cow’s milk protein.

Signs of Cow’s Milk Allergy
Cow’s milk allergies have a wide range of signs and symptoms, which may include:

Colic – Episodes of crying for more than 3 hours a day, for more than 3 days a week, for 3 weeks, in an otherwise healthy child.
Skin reactions – Red itchy rash, swelling of the lips, face and around the eyes, or eczema.
Digestive issues – Abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea.
Hay fever-like issues – Sneezing or itchy, runny or blocked nose.
It’s not always easy to tell if your baby has cow’s milk allergy, as the issues they experience might not be that clear or they could be caused by other things. If you think your baby might be allergic to cow’s milk protein, speak to your doctor, who may investigate further or refer your baby to a specialist.

Occurrence of Cow’s Milk Allergy in Infants
Cow’s milk allergy usually develops within baby’s first year. Most will grow out of it as they get older, on average by three to five years of age.

Experts aren’t sure why some babies become allergic to cow’s milk. What they do know is that your baby has a higher risk of cow’s milk allergy if there’s a family history of allergies, such as asthma, eczema or a food allergy.