Sunlight, Allergy and Eczema in Children

Here’s a benefit to bringing a little more sunlight into your child’s life — it may reduce the risk of food allergies and eczema. Researchers from the European Center for Environment and Human Health and several Australian institutions have found that kids who live in areas with lower levels of sunlight have a greater chance of developing food allergies and eczema than those in areas with higher levels of sunlight.

Researchers analyzed data from a study of Australian children to see how rates of food allergy, asthma and eczema varied throughout the country. They found that on average children who lived in the southern area were twice as likely to get eczema as those who lived in the north. They also found a similar link between latitude and peanut and egg allergies.

The authors of the study say these findings build upon previous research suggesting sun exposure may be a factor in rising levels of eczema and food allergies. They hope to conduct more studies to figure out whether temperature, infectious disease or vitamin D is the main factor behind the relationship between where you live, food allergies and eczema.