Allergy testing kits warning23rd February 2011
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has warned that allergy kits sold by websites could be misleading parents.
NICE said the allergy analysis offered by internet sites was not supported by scientific proof.
It will publish new guidance in order to aid doctors in England and Wales with identifying children who suffer from allergies.
It is believed one in 20 children has some kind of food allergy.
NICE stated that some parents used internet analysis and alternative therapy after they felt they were not given enough help by their GP.
Dr Adam Fox, an allergy specialist based at the Evelina Children's Hospital in London, said every child did not immediately display clearly recognisable allergic symptoms.
"Food allergies can actually be extremely subtle. Lots of children have eczema, colic or spit up more food than usual. For some of those children the underlying problem is an allergy to something within their diet."
The NICE guidelines contain information for GPs which detail steps for identifying symptoms and when a child should be referred on for specialist treatment.
Dr Fox helped write the guidelines for NICE and said he regularly saw parents who had spent money on unnecessary or ineffective tests.
"The websites are very well put together, the stories behind them are plausible, but we were unable to find any evidence to support them," he said.
He added that the kind of test offered by health service clinics (skin prick tests and blood sample analysis) were supported by scientific research.
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