This article provides a summary of findings of a study conducted in Britain to investigate if breastfeeding indeed protects children against developing eczema and other allergic conditions. Data for the study was collected on more than 50,000 children dispersed in 21 countries, with an average age of 10 years (Bakalar, 2011). Overall, the study aimed to evaluate the prevalence and severity of eczema by employing several data collection techniques, which included conducting skin examinations of the respondents, analyzing family medical histories, administering questionnaires to reveal past symptoms, and examining children for common allergens through the administration of skin-prick tests (Bakalar, 2011).
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The study results demonstrated no connection between breastfeeding and the prevalence and severity of eczema among children (Bakalar, 2011). Indeed, no solid evidence was found linking long-term breastfeeding (six months or longer) to a quantifiable reduction in eczema cases, nor was breastfeeding positively associated with a reduction in the severity of the condition. Instances of mothers with a history of allergy were observed during the study, but this seemed not to affect the results of the children. The most striking finding, it appears, was the discovery that breastfeeding was positively correlated to a slight increase in the risk for eczema in more prosperous nations. Overall, the consensus postulated by the researchers, led by Carsten Flohr, the lead researcher, is that neither breastfeeding itself nor sustained breastfeeding protects the children against developing eczema, or curtails the severity of the medical condition (Bakalar, 2011).
This study is particularly important to mothers who want to know more about eczema to afford their affected children the much-needed care and management. According to Kids Health Info (2010), eczema is viewed as a common skin condition that is characterized by dryness, redness, and itchiness of the affected area, and as it progresses, the skin may become cracked, sensitive, and then scab over. In most instances, the condition begins before the child celebrates his or her first birthday (Kids Health Info, 2010).
In reading the article, parents of children with eczema may wish to know if the condition is contagious now that breastfeeding has proved to be of little consequence to the management of the condition. The second question that parents and patients may wish to ask is if the disease can therefore be treated or managed effectively using other treatment methodologies, and what those methodologies are if indeed they do exist. Third, parents of children with eczema, upon reading the article, may wish to know why there exists a positive association between breastfeeding and the observed slight increase in the risk for eczema in the developed world (Bakalar, 2011).
There is a multiplicity of online resources that parents of children with eczema can be referred to in an attempt to provide them with insightful information and knowledge on how to manage the condition, and even to find answers to their long-held queries such as the ones stated above. Indeed, parents of these children and other patients need to realize that help is just a click away. One particular resource, known as EczemaReport.com, is comprehensive in its coverage of the causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of eczema (EczemaReport.com, 2011). Such a resource, in my view, may go a long way in assisting parents of children suffering from eczema to know more about the condition and its causes and to offer proactive remedies that will assist the children to live palatable lifestyles.
Bakalar, N. (2011). Nutrition: Breastfeeding does not prevent Eczema. The New York Times. Web.
EczemaReport.com. (2011). Web.
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Kids health info for parents: Eczema. (2010). Web.