Cats Raise Risk of Child Eczema
Cats raise the risk of child eczema, so says research carried out about 3 years ago. In more recent research it has been suggested that Cats can help protect people from allergies. This appears to be conflicting information from other research. Which is correct or they compatible findings? The fact is the research is ongoing and at the moment, as I understand it, there are no clear answers. In the older research, the findings suggest that children exposed to cats soon after birth have an increased risk of developing eczema.
The other argument is that when a child is exposed to cat dander the child’s immune system develops a protection against it. This works in the same way as vaccinations. So children who live with cats should not have the cat removed as it may weaken the immune system in later life. The eczema research found that a significantly higher percentage of children (27% of 134) who lived with cat developed eczema by aged one than those who didn’t live with cats (17.8% of the 286).
The point I have to make is this. Is eczema caused by an allergy? If, yes, the findings conflict. But the causes of eczema are in fact unknown although it could be allergy related. Clearly more research is needed.
Photo by Etolane: love this photo and there is no suggestion that this child is at risk. Published under creative commons license: