Information updates

Updated ASCIA information on cow’s milk (dairy) allergy

August 2, 2017

As part of a comprehensive review of educational information on its website, ASCIA information on cow’s milk (dairy) allergy has recently been updated.

The updates include changes that make it easier to read and information about the use of rice based extensively hydrolysed formula (rEHF) as an alternative milk for infants (up to 1 year of age).

Cow's milk (dairy is a common cause of food allergy in infants. In Australia and New Zealand around 2 per cent (1 in 50) infants are allergic to cow's milk and other dairy products. Although most children outgrow cow's milk allergy by the age of 3-5 years, in some people cow's milk allergy may not resolve. 

Avoidance and reintroduction of cow's milk and other dairy products should only be undertaken with advice from a medical specialist (and in many cases, a dietitian), particularly in cases with severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).  If long-term exclusion is required, patients require an alternative source of calcium and protein to ensure adequate nutrition and growth. Dietary exclusion during breastfeeding is rarely required but if recommended, maternal nutritional intake should also be supervised. Assessment and review by a dietitian is recommended for infants and breastfeeding mothers who may need to exclude cow’s milk and other dairy products.


Content updated 2 August 2017