Parents who buy high street allergy tests for their kids could be putting their health at risk, according to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
The Institute says that self-diagnosing food allergies via tests bought from the high street or off the internet, along with eliminating certain foods from children's diets, could leave them lacking in nutrients and cause children to be malnourished.
In new guidelines aimed to make make official allergy diagnosis in children quicker on the NHS, the watchdog said parents must take their children to see a GP if they have concerns about allergies. It also urged parents to avoid expensive private testing and 'alternative' tests.
Paediatric allergy consultant Dr Adam Fox, of London's Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital, helped author the new guidelines. He warned websites can look very professional and contain 'pseudo science' but said parents should not allow themselves to be taken in.
'They have their children on sometimes very restrictive diets which are sometimes completely unnecessary,' he said.
What do you think?
Have you diagnosed your child's allergy?
Or do you think the sales of home testing kits should be banned?