At Risk Individuals
The prevalence of allergies in children is around 6%.
A combination of genetic and environmental factors contributes to the predisposition for allergic conditions. Family history particularly influences the risk of developing food allergies. A child is considered at high risk when born into a family where the direct siblings already have an allergic disease, including eczema, asthma, allergic rhinitis or food allergies.
Atopy is defined as a predisposing factor to the development of allergic diseases. It is impossible to predict the type of allergy a child might develop, but the more direct the degree of kinship, the more likely the child is to develop one or more allergic diseases. In some cases, a child may have the same type of allergy as his or her parent or sibling, but it is also possible that the condition may be completely different or even that he or she will not develop an allergic disease at all.
A child with eczema is considered to be at higher risk of developing food allergies.
When both parents have an allergic condition, the risk of their child developing allergies ranges from 50% to 60%.
To learn more about allergy prevention for at risk children, see:
*Our Babies and Young Children section
*Educational capsule (in French): Introduction of solid foods for at risk babies