Christine Geiser: I have worked here for 20 years and am responsible for the entire Hochdorf region for pre-school children. We offer advice to an average of 1,500 people each year in person or by telephone or e-mail.
According to the experts, there has been a dramatic increase in allergic diseases over the past 20 years. Have you observed this?
Christine Geiser: I have not personally found any increase. I would estimate that around five per cent of all the children we care for will suffer from allergies.
How can you predict if a child is likely to suffer from allergies?
Christine Geiser: We are the only people involved with three quarters of all the children until they reach the age of one so we often see the initial signs of possible allergies. Typical signs are red cheeks or a rash in the back of the knee or the crook of the arm.
What happens with typical allergy symptoms?
Christine Geiser: The symptoms will remain for a third of children. They disappear permanently for another third and reoccur later for the remainder. However, I don’t have any official figures for this.
Is allergy prevention a reasonable precaution when it comes to infants?
Christine Geiser: If the closest relatives – mother, father, or siblings – suffer from atopic allergies, then prevention makes sense.
What do you advise these parents?
Christine Geiser: In cases like this, I advise breastfeeding exclusively. If breastfeeding is not possible I recommend using HA infant formula for the first four to six months. The parents can then move on to normal formula although many parents decide to stick with an HA follow-on formula.
What is your experience with HA formula?
Christine Geiser: We have had very good results with HA infant formula. The infants tolerate HA formula very well and accept it easily.
There are several HA infant formula products on the market. Which do you recommend?
Christine Geiser: As a neutral specialist department we don’t recommend any particular brand. However, many parents ask about Swiss products and we would then recommend relevant brands.
Christine Geiser, thank you for the interesting interview.