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What is Cow's Milk Allergy (CMA)

Symptoms of Cow's Milk Allergy

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What to expect when visiting your child's doctor

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Learn more about how your doctor can help manage your baby's symptoms

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Welcome to our BootsWebMD website on Cow's Milk Allergy (CMA).

Cow's Milk Allergy, or CMA, is the most common type of food allergy in infants and young children in the UK and typically develops in the first year of life. It's an allergic reaction to the protein in cow's milk and it does not only manifest in formula-fed babies - some very sensitive babies may also react to traces of the protein within breastmilk.

The sections on this page will help you understand what cow's milk allergy is, which symptoms you should look out for and what you can do if you suspect that your baby may have an allergy to cow's milk. If you think that your child might be showing signs and symptoms of cow's milk allergy, please speak to your GP who can investigate further or refer your child to a specialist if required.

Cow's Milk Allergy: How common is it?

Cow's Milk Allergy is the most common food allergy in infants and young children, presenting typically at 3-6 months (rarely after 12 months).

What is Cow's Milk Allergy?

Cow's Milk Allergy (CMA) is an allergic reaction to the protein in cows' milk. In short, an allergic reaction to food occurs when the body's immune system responds inappropriately to something in a particular food. Symptoms can occur immediately or can be delayed for up to a couple of days later. Cow's milk allergy can occur in formula-fed or breast-fed infants.

What Causes Food Allergies?

It is not clearly understood why some children's immune systems try to 'fight' certain foods or the proteins they contain. In general, infants and young children are much more sensitive as their immune systems are still quite immature. Children coming from a family with an extensive history of allergy have a greater risk of developing food allergy than those with allergy-free relatives. However, even infants and children having no family history of allergy at all can have allergic symptoms. Find out about the allergic symptoms associated with CMA.

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What is CMA?

Cow's Milk Allergy is the most common food allergy in infants and young children in the UK.

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What are the symptoms of Cow's Milk Allergy?

Symptoms of CMA are most likely to appear on the skin, in the intestines and/or in the respiratory tract.

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What should I expect when visiting my child's doctor?

Diagnosing cow's milk allergy can mean a bit more than a single test at the doctor's.

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My baby has Cow's Milk Allergy, what's next?

Learn more about how your doctor can help to manage your baby's symptoms.

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