Mother concerned by new allergy guidelines

Parents are being advised to feed babies eggs and peanuts in their first year of life, regardless of their allergy risk factors in order to prevent them from developing allergies. 

The new guidelines have been published in the Medical Journal of Australia with scientists advising parents to "deliberately" feed their infants foods that can trigger allergies.

But one Kiwi mother Simone Mullan whose daughter was nearly killed by an allergy as a baby says the move is a scary prospect for new parents.

Ms Mullan experienced every new parent's worst nightmare when her baby was just under a year old.

"She started vomiting and frothing at the mouth and becoming unconscious, but I thought she was sleepy and had a bit of a bug but my brother-in-law actually alerted me that something else didn't look right so we took her off to A and E and they quickly took her off our hands and administered adrenalin."

Ms Mullan had innocently fed dairy to her daughter Lizzie, now 21. But it turned out Lizzie had an array of severe allergies.

"Egg being the most dangerous, peanuts, nuts, dogs, cats, grass, trees, dust mites. So we suddenly thought we had a baby we had to keep in a bubble."

The new guidelines recommend parents introduce solid foods when their baby is six months old and before they're 12 months old - introduce peanut and egg, regardless of allergy risk of factors.

Experts have welcomed the advice saying exposure to common food allergens helps desensitise children to them. 

They hope it'll also help doctors to identify allergies early and make a diagnosis. 

Up to 10 per cent of Kiwi infants have food allergies, with milk, eggs and peanuts the main culprits.

In a group of 640 infants with certain ailments, some were given food containing peanuts until they were five years old. Only 1.9 per cent of them developed peanut allergies.

Another group wasn't fed peanuts and 13.7 per cent developed peanut allergies.

And Ms Mullan's advice to parents is to proceed, with caution.

"Seek advice, know your family history, listen to your gut, take care and watch your child."