Children's allergy to milk to be studied

The extent and effect of allergy to cow's milk in children will be researched in a study announced today, during allergy awareness week.

The study, funded by the Auckland District Health Board, will be led by Auckland University adult and child allergy specialist Professor Rohan Ameratunga.

Cow's milk is one of the most common causes of food allergy in children, affecting one in 50, and involves the immune system reacting to the protein in milk, Prof Ameratunga said.

Reactions can include facial swelling, tingling in the mouth, wheezing or eczema, vomiting, reflux, and poor weight gain.

In extreme cases, patients can suffer anaphylaxis, which severely affects the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

The study will research the number of children suffering cow's milk protein allergies, and common symptoms.