NICE issues food allergy in children proposals

NICE has published draft guidance on food allergies in children, designed to improve detection and diagnosis of the condition.

The new guidance will help GPs diagnose food allergy correctly (Photograph: istock)
The new guidance will help GPs diagnose food allergy correctly (Photograph: istock)

The draft guidelines are designed to support GPs and other health professionals in primary care to correctly identify food allergy.

It recommends that clinicians should remain mindful of the condition if patients report symptoms including skin conditions, respiratory complaints, gastrointestinal problems and anaphylaxis.

Food allergies should also be considered in children who are not adequately responding to treatment for atopic eczema, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and chronic constipation.

Judith Richardson, associate director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE, said: ‘Food allergies in children are becoming more common, therefore it is important that there are appropriate, evidence-based approaches in treating those with this condition.

‘Many of the symptoms are common to other conditions, so it’s not always easy to identify and diagnose food allergy correctly. This will be the first evidence-based guideline on how health professionals and others who work with young children should diagnose and assess food allergies in children.’

Stakeholders have until 6 September to offer their comments on the proposals.

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