Since the 1950’s allergic diseases such as asthma, hay fever or atopic eczema have become five times more prevalent and are still on the rise. The blame for this circumstance can mainly be placed upon the increased amounts of noxious substances and chemicals in our environment. This includes air-pollution (mainly due to automobiles), the increased use of medications and vaccinations, as well as chemicals found in food products, cosmetics, and textiles.

Another factor seems to be the exaggerated hygiene practiced on children, which prevents pathogen contact to the immune system. Children that overcome multiple infections as infants are less likely to develop allergic diseases. Stress, which is ever increasing in our society, also influences the development of allergies.

Specifically vulnerable to allergic diseases are children in families with a history of allergic diseases.

What can you do as a parent to prevent or slow the development of allergic diseases?

Become or remain a non-smoker, do not smoke during pregnancy, breastfeeding or in rooms where children are present.

Exclusively feed your infant with breast milk for the first six months. In the next six months continue breastfeeding while beginning to implement solid food.

Feed yourself and your child with a high quality and complete nutrition, including raw fruits and vegetables at least one time daily. All products should be fresh and from organic farms. Fast food has been identified as one of the causes for the increased prevalence of asthma.

Create a healthy living environment: avoid chipboard wood, pvc-floors, wood-protectant or other chemicals in living quarters. Air out living spaces several times per day, including the winter months.

Clothe your children healthily: choose natural and uncolored cotton products for layers that have direct skin contact.

Avoid baby-swimming: chlorine gases in public swimming pools irritate the skin and mucous membranes, and can lead to the development of allergic diseases.

Be cautious with vaccinations: delaying vaccination into the second year of a child’s life can reduce the risk of developing asthma. Experiencing certain illnesses (e.g. chickenpox) reduces the risk of developing allergic diseases.

Practice restraint with fever reducing medicines: Antipyretics as well as antibiotics in the first year of life, raise the risk of developing allergic diseases.

Avoid exaggerated hygiene: do not overly disinfect. Children do not need to be bathed daily. Linens do no need to be changed daily. A child may also eat sand occasionally!

Help out the general cause for cleaner air: avoid driving your car unnecessarily; engage yourself for a healthier environment.

Practices for children with an elevated risk of developing allergic diseases

(=Allergy manifest in at least one parent or sibling; manifested atopic eczema)

Feed your child exclusively with breast milk for the first six months. The protective effect of hypoallergienic formulas is doubtful, the research was largely financed by the food industry. In the magazine ökotest the H.A. formulas get bad ratings.

Solid food can be introduced between month 6 and 8  without restriction.

Prosymbioflor 3 x 0,7ml (= 3 x 14 drops) starting at four  weeks of age through the end of the seventh month of age reduces the risk of developing atopic aczema by fifty percent if one parent is an allergic subject. It is less effective if both parents suffer from allergic diseases.

Daily application of sunflower oil over the entire body (with the exception of the hair covered scalp) in the first weeks of life can reduce the risk of developing atopic eczema by fifty percent.

Do not have cats or rabbits as pets. Avoid horsehair mattresses. Optimal material for mattresses are coconut, latex or ecologically tested foam materials. For comforters or blankets recommended materials are: cotton, silk or downs that can be washed at 60 degrees Celsius.

Avoid carpets; they are very susceptible to dust mite colonization. Also avoid animal furs, old mattresses, or upholstered furniture in your child’s bedroom.