Sat, May 04, 2013 - Page 11 News List

October babies more prone to allergies
十月出生台灣囝仔 最容易過敏

Two babies are seen in this photo taken in Greater Taichung on March 26.

Photo courtesy of Su Hsien-min

Many parents worry about their children being predisposed to allergies, but what most people do not know is that the month in which a child is born can make a big difference. A recent study shows that Taiwanese children born in October are the most likely to have problems with allergies and that their risk of asthma is 30 percent higher than other babies. Children born in May, on the other hand, are 20 to 30 percent less likely to develop asthma.

During a symposium held by the Taiwan Pediatric Association on April 27, Kuo Ho-chang, an attending physician at Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology, discussed the results of a recent health data survey conducted in 2010 that included 15,483 children between the ages of 7 and 15. The study analyzed three different allergic conditions — hay fever, atopic dermatitis and asthma — and the relationship to the month in which a child was born.

It found that the prevalence rates for hay fever and atopic dermatitis show no correlation to the month in which a baby is born. However, the prevalence of asthma among babies born in October was 10.59 percent higher, making them 30 percent more at risk than other babies, followed by August, September and November respectively, all of which had prevalence rates of nine percent. Babies born in May had the lowest prevalence rate of asthma and were 20 to 30 percent less likely to suffer from asthma.

Kuo says that the purpose of the study was not to scare women into choosing specific months to have their babies, but rather to remind women who will have babies during that particular time to watch their health, keep their surroundings clean and be careful about which baby foods they select for their baby. Kuo says that dust mites multiply during the fall, which could be what causes babies to develop bad allergies, so he says that it is important to keep one’s living environment clean.


1. asthma n.

氣喘 (qi4 chuan3)

例: Brian had an asthma attack but didn’t have his inhaler, so he was rushed to the hospital.


2. multiply v.

繁殖 (fan2 zhi2)

例: The bacteria in the food multiplied rapidly due to the hot weather.


3. additive n.

添加物;添加劑 (tian1 jia1 wu4; tian1 jia1 ji4)

例: Antioxidant additives do not necessarily make a food healthy.


Babies are also predisposed to allergies if their mother also has bad allergies, so Kuo says that pregnant women should avoid consuming potential allergens, including crab, shrimp, egg whites and milk, if they have an expected date of delivery in the fall months. When you start giving baby food to babies it is also important to avoid seafood additives and carefully observe which foods give the baby an allergic skin reaction, he says.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)







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