Milk Allergy Statistics:
A milk allergy is a food allergy, an adverse immune reaction to one or more of the constituents of milk from any animal (most commonly alpha S1-casein, a protein in cow's milk). Allergy to cow’s milk is the most common food allergy in infants and young children. Studies in several countries around the world show a prevalence of milk allergy in children in the first year of life of around 2% to 5%. Many children lose their hypersensitivity to milk by age 3, but some children remain allergic for a lifetime.
Often, children with a milk allergy will have a "slow" reaction, which means symptoms will develop over time—perhaps within several hours to days later. Symptoms associated with a slow reaction are: abdominal cramps, loose stool, diarrhea, skin rash, intermittent coughing, runny nose or sinus infection, failure to thrive.
Milk Allergy Management and Treatment:
It is recommended that formula-fed infants who are allergic to milk use an extensively hydrolyzed, casein-based formula. This type of formula contains protein that has been extensively broken down so it is different than milk protein and not as likely to cause an allergic reaction. Examples of casein-hydrolysate formulas are Alimentum and Nutramigen. If the child is not allergic to soy, his or her doctor may recommend a soy-based formula.